Category Archives: Analects

Episode 6 of “This Is the Way”: Partiality and Justice

Episode 6 of This Is the Way is on Tao Jiang’s book. We don’t cover every one of the fascinating issues raised in the 516 pages of Professor Jiang’s volume, but we do cover some of the core topics, including (1) tensions between impartialist justice and partialist humaneness, and (2) Zhuangzi and freedom. A short description follows, with the usual supporting materials. Continue reading →

Episode 5 of “This Is the Way”: Cultivation and the Autobiography of Confucius

In the fifth episode of This Is the Way, we discuss Confucius’s autobiography as found in Analects 2.4, one of the most famous passages in the Analects and a rich resource for reflection on the process of moral self-cultivation. Among the many topics we explore: what Confucius meant by being “free of doubts” and “understanding Heaven’s Mandate,” and the relationship between practicing and understanding the Confucian Way. We discuss how traditional commentaries and commentators have interpreted some of the most interesting and disputed lines, and puzzle over the philosophical concept of ‘wholeheartedness.’ Continue reading →

The Analects of Confucius – Seminar Series (Oxford)

Philiminality Oxford is delighted to announce an upcoming series of talks (online) on the Analects of Confucius. The ideas to be found in the Analects have been so influential that they are often seen as the cornerstone of Confucianism. In this seminar series, we will be hosting three talks on the Analects by leading experts in Confucian thought, covering topics in ethics and political thought.
  • Prof. Stephen Angle (Wesleyan University), “The Analects and Modern Moral Philosophy” (Monday 3 May, 3-4.30pm BST)
  • Prof. LI Chenyang (Nanyang Technological University), “Li as Cultural Grammar: On the Relation Between Li and Ren in Confucius’ Analects” (Monday 17 May, 10-11.30am BST)
  • Prof. TAN Sor-Hoon (Singapore Management University), “Confucian Democracy and the Analects” (Monday 31 May, 10-11.30am BST)

To register and receive Zoom details, please register here:

If you have any questions, feel free to email us at:  philiminality.ox[at]

Organisers: Heeyoung Tae, Lea Cantor, Sihao Chew, and Flaminia Pischedda

Abstracts of all three talks follow.

Continue reading →

Online symposium: “The Lunyu 論語 and Its Neighbours”

In November there will be a two-day online symposium entitled “The Lunyu 論語 and Its Neighbours.” The workshop will be held online via zoom. For further details, please refer to:, and see below for the schedule.

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Confucianism and Resistance in Hong Kong

Earlier this month Joseph Chan, a well-known authority on Confucianism at the University of Hong Kong, published a short essay (in Chinese) that draws on the Analects (especially 8:13) to think about people’s responsibilities when a state “lacks the Way.” A very brief summary: when Confucius says that in a state lacking the Way one should “yin 隱” (which is translated “conceal” in that Ctext link), he does not mean that one should hide away and fail to engage with the society. It might be worth contrasting this with questions raised in 2014 during the Umbrella Movement about the lack of Confucian discourse at that time.

Peimin Ni wins Scaglione Prize in translation


New York, NY – 4 December 2019 – The Modern Language Association of America today announced it is awarding its thirteenth Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for a Translation of a Scholarly Study of Literature to Peimin Ni, of Grand Valley State University, for Understanding the Analects of Confucius: A New Translation of Lunyu with Annotations, published by the State University of New York Press, and to Sylvia Adrian Notini, of the University of Bologna, for her translation of Pier Mattia Tommasino’s The Venetian Qur’an: A Renaissance Companion to Islam, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. John Marincola, of Florida State University, is receiving an honorable mention for On Writing History: From Herodotus to Herodian, published by Penguin.

Please click here to download a PDF of the full press release.

Articles of Interest

Two articles of interest to appear outside of the standard ones we always cover:

New Analects Translation

Paul van Els of Leiden University writes…

This new translation of the Lunyu, which recently came out, may have escaped the attention of Warp, Weft, and Way blog readers, as it was published by what appears to be an obscure press:

Li, Chris Wen-Chao. 2018. What Confucius Really Said: The Complete Analects in a Skopos-Centric Translation. San Francisco: Maison 174. (

Purists might frown upon this translation, if only because the real Confucius could not and would not have quoted Katy Perry as saying “You’re hot then you’re cold, You’re yes then you’re no, You’re in then you’re out, You’re up then you’re down” (p. 164). Still, Li’s work is a creative take on the ancient text, and translations such as “Confucius @MasterSays: Guys who talk sweet and smile all the time are scum.” (p. 3) might strike a chord with the Twitter generation.

Survey Request on English Translations of the Analects

Message from Professor Tao:

I am a professor of translation studies at Fudan University, Shanghai. This questionnaire is designed for my Fulbright project, investigating the feedback of English readers of translations of The Analects. If you are an academic scholar (graduate students included) in the West, whose working language is English, and have read the English version of The Analects of Confucius, please help, and answer each question. There are no right or wrong answers. After you complete the survey, please send me your email address to, and I will reward you a $20 Amazon gift card. If you could accept a further interview with me please let me know. Feel free to contact me at 0086-13671600660 (or American cellphone 15715087149) if my questions are not clear. If you visit Shanghai I hope I can meet you there someday.

Thank you for your expertise, and taking time to complete the survey and participating in this study!

Youlan Tao