Did Confucius think that if one of us has general virtue, or some particular virtue such as courage or filial piety, that general or particular virtue will have a substantial tendency to spread directly to the people around her, even if she holds no government position?
Here I’ll survey Confucius’ statements in the Analects and conclude that the answer is No. Confucius probably did not hold that view. (I gave the opposite reading in both my published papers on Chinese philosophy.)
I’ll make the argument in a series of top-level comments below this post, for the convenience of objectors. I’m not sure how quickly the Machines will let me post multiple comments; I’ll say when I’ve come to the end of my prepared comments.