Warp, Weft, and Way

Chinese and Comparative Philosophy 中國哲學與比較哲學

The Shortcomings of the Sages

I’d like to use this as an opportunity to think about depictions of sages in early Confucian texts (Mengzi in particular). I’ve thought, for better or worse, that the authors of these texts used the figures of the sages as representations of fully cultivated people. Yet I’ve noticed that these sages are sometimes described as falling short of perfection, and this gives rise to a question–in what ways can one be deficient, and yet still be considered a sage? Continue reading “The Shortcomings of the Sages”

May 2, 2012 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Confucianism, Mencius, Sages | 31 comments

What Is Shun's Awful Family Doing in the Mencius?

I’m interested in hearing what, if anything, people think the crazy stories about the sage king Shun and his awful family are doing in the Mencius. I’m thinking especially about sections 5A/2 and 5A/3, which tell us how Shun responded to his family’s attempts to murder him, but 5A/1, 4A/26, and 7A/35 are also on-topic, and maybe 4A/28 and 5A/4 (and others?) as well.

One reason I bring this up is that I know that Manyul, Steve, and I have very different ideas about this, and maybe others do too. So it should be fun to talk about. Continue reading “What Is Shun's Awful Family Doing in the Mencius?”

February 12, 2011 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Filial piety, Mencius, Sages | 29 comments