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  • Golden Rule: on one hand it encourages reciprocity and motivation toward positive action. On the other hand, the amount of good that any individual can do is limited compared to the amount of damage anyone can cause. Silver Rule: on one hand it prohibited one to act negatively. On the other hand, they are less damaging and risk-adverse as you are free to pursue all the other ones which are good or are neutral.
  • Translations: “Benevolence”, “Goodness”, “Human-heartedness”, “Compassion”, “Pity”, “Love”, “Virtue”, “Virtue of Virtues”, “Supreme Goodness”, “Charity”, “Humanity” and “Kindness”.
  • Translations: “rite”, “ceremony”, “decorum”, “deportment”, “politeness”, “good manners”, “propriety”, “civility”.
  • In Ren , one’s actions are ruled by the rules of the heart and that such man is the truly virtuous man. Through Ren, Zhong and Shu society will have equity, justice, respect, love, pity, compassion, kindness and charity resulting to peace, tranquility and progress. Evil will be totally annihilated and all people from the world can benefit from the merits of these virtues.
  • 1. See p. 256 of Creel.
  • Gustave Lanson, in his thesis, acknowledged the external influence of China in the philosophy of eighteenth century France and the political principles underlying the indigenous developments of the French Revolution. See p. 266 of Creel.
  • Reference:
  • Transcript

    • 1. Confucius By: Ong, David Bryan Tan Drajat, Gibran Group 5
    • 2. Flow of the Report Introduction to Confucius and Confucianism Getting to Know Confucius (more detailed) Ethics Virtues Right Ordering of State Evaluation and Critiques Summary/Conclusion * A more detailed outline is included in the handouts
    • 3. Introduction to Confucius
      • Confucius is one of the most known and influential of Chinese philosophers.
      • His ideas about creating social and political harmony through good governance, proper human relations and individual moral development shape Chinese thought and history for many centuries.
      • He did not pretend to be a prophet, but dedicated his whole life to save the mankind.
    • 4. Introduction to Confucius
      • Confucius promised those who followed him no great riches, no secrets for worldly power or fame.
        • Instead of gold or glory, he spoke only of a dream—a world where happiness, good, and peace would replace misery, evil, and war.
    • 5. Introduction to Confucius “ Confucius was a man who never led an army, ruled a kingdom, or conquered a nation, but shaped the flow of human history and established a system of ideas that has lasted over twenty five hundred years.’ (Bennett Sims, 1968)”
    • 6. Introduction to Confucianism
      • Confucianism is humanism, a philosophy or attitude that is concerned with human beings, their achievements and interests, rather than with the abstract beings and problems of theology
        • Humanism is the belief that human beings are teachable, improvable and perfectible through personal and communal endeavor especially including self-cultivation and self-creation
    • 7. Introduction to Confucianism
      • Confucianism was never intended to be a religion. It has no revelatory sacred writings, no priesthood, no doctrine of an afterlife, and frowned on asceticism and monasticism
      • Confucianism has been the chief cultural influence of China for centuries.
    • 8. Who is this man?
    • 9. The Life of Confucius
    • 10. Ancestry, Childhood and Youth (551-523 B.C.)
      • Confucius was born in the town of Tsou, in the county of Ch’angping in the country of Lu (now Shantung Province).
      • His early ancestor was K’ung Fangshu (member of the Royal State of Song/Sung)
      • His great grandfather moved to Lu, fleeing the turmoil in Song to the country of Lu, where they became impoverished.
      • Shuliang Ho was the Father of Confucius by extra-marital union.
      • Confucius was born in answer to his parents’ prayers at a sacred hill called Ni, thus, they named him Ch’iu/qiu.
      • Soon after he was born, his father died
    • 11. Ancestry, Childhood and Youth (551-523 B.C.)
      • As a child, Confucius used to play at making sacrificial offerings and performing ceremonies.
      • In spite of his family’s financial problems, Confucius received a good education in music, arithmetic, calligraphy, and other disciplines
      • He left his country and headed to Chou to study the ancient rites and ceremonies
    • 12. Ancestry, Childhood and Youth (551-523 B.C.)
      • At around 19, he got married, he earned a living tending stable animals and keeping accounts for granaries of Baron Chi.
      • but soon divorced his wife and had an aloof relationship with his son and daughter. (They died before Confucius)
      • In his twenties, he became a teacher and gathered a group of loyal disciples.
    • 13. Between Thirty and Fifty (522-503 B.C.)
      • Confucius returned from Chou to the country of Lu, and more disciples came to study under him.
      • At the age of 35, due to a conflict between the rulers of 2 different countries, Confucius left his country and went to the country of Ch’i, where he worked as a secretary to Baron Chao Kao, in the hope of establishing a connection with the duke of Ch’i
    • 14. Between Thirty and Fifty (522-503 B.C.)
      • The Duke of Ch’i was very impressed with Confucius and wanted to give him some sort of power but other nobilities were plotting against him so he was forced to return to his country.
      • The number of his students rapidly grew.
    • 15. The Period of Great Power (502-496 B.C.)
      • During his 50s/ early 50s, Confucius was made magistrate of Chungtu by Duke Ting/Ding
      • Then he was promoted to the office of the secretary of Public Works (or Labor) then later on became the Grand Secretary of Justice.
      • Confucius’ disciple named Tselu was made Secretary of the Barony of Ch’i
      • At 56, Confucius, from Grand Secretary of Justice, he was promoted as the Chief Minister
    • 16. The Period of Great Power (502-496 B.C.)
      • After 3 months of being Chief Minister, people started to strictly follow the rules
      • This frightened their rival country (Ch’i) because of the worry that the country of Lu with Confucius having some power might dominate.
      • Due to political disagreements and internal conflicts, he resigned his post at fifty-five and left the province of Lu.
    • 17. Five Years of Wandering (496-492 B.C,)
      • In the company of his disciples, Confucius left Lu and traveled in the states of Wei, Song, Chen, Cai, and Chu, purportedly looking for a ruler who might employ him but meeting instead with indifference and, occasionally, severe hardship and danger
      • When he was in Wei for the second time, the duke was pleased to see him but did not put him in power
    • 18. Five Years of Wandering (496-492 B.C,)
      • ‘ If someone will put me in power, I shall need only one month (to lay the foundation for a new order) and in three years time, I shall accomplish great results’
      • So he left Wei because he felt that he couldn’t accomplish anything in Wei. And decided to go back to Ch’en
    • 19. In Extremities between Ch’en and Ts’ai (491-489 B.C.)
      • After a year, Confucius left Ch’en to go to Ts’ai and wandered there for 3 years.
      • The rulers of Ch’u sent for Confucius but the rulers of Ch’en and Ts’ai heard of this and won’t let it happen. So, they surrounded Confucius with soldiers.
      • Confucius was able to get out of this difficulty with the help of the King of Ch’u.
      • Confucius left Ch’u and headed again back to Wei. (He was 63 this time)
    • 20. Further Years of Wanderings (488-484 B.C.)
      • When he was in Wei, he had many disciples who were in the government.
      • K’ung Wentse of Wei asked Confucius about Military tactics but he politely declined.
      • Then he decided to leave Wei
      • Confucius returned to Lu in 484 B.C .and spent the remainder of his life teaching, putting in order the Book of Songs , the Book of Documents , and other ancient classics, as well as editing the Spring and Autumn Annals , the court chronicle of Lu
    • 21. Further Years of Wanderings (488-484 B.C.)
      • He traveled for thirteen years from state to state seeking to persuade political leaders to adopt his teachings before returning to Lu. Although many lords respected him, no one gave him a position
    • 22. Scholarly Labors and Personal Habits of Confucius (484-481 B.C)
      • In his old age, Confucius developed a love of study of different books.
      • Confucius taught poetry, history, ceremonies and music to 3,000 pupils of whom 72, had mastered the ‘Six arts’ (ceremonies, music, archery, carriage-driving, reading and mathematics)
    • 23. His Death (479 B.C.) and Posterity
      • Confucius said to Tsekung while he was ill: ‘For a long time the world has been living in moral chaos and no ruler has been able to follow me’
      • Seven days afterwards he died at the age of 72 or 73
      • For generations sacrifices were offered at the temple of Confucius
    • 24. His Death (479 B.C.) and Posterity
      • The belongings of Confucius were preserved in the Confucian Temple and all the princes and high ministers paid respects first at the Confucian Temple before assuming office
      • Confucius who was but a common scholar became acknowledged Master of scholars for over ten generations
      • All people in China who discuss the six arts, from the emperors, kings, and princes down, regard the Master as the final authority
      • Confucius was recognized as a unique figure, a sage who was ignored but should have been recognized and become a king
    • 25. How his life effected his Philosophy
      • The ending of the Zhou Dynasty in China was marred by warring factions within the empire, harsh rule by the power wielding elites, and to some extent, political chaos. Confucius, lived during these times and sought for an understandable and capable way of ruling.
      • The moral and social order was in a state of decay. Confucius sought a way to restore the cultural-political order. He believed that reform would come through educating the leaders in the classics and in his philosophy.
    • 26. Confucian Ethics
    • 27. Confucian Ethics: Outline
      • The Basis of Ethical Thought in Confucianism
      • Virtue Ethics in Confucianism
      • Ethical Particularism: the Golden Rule and the Silver Rule
      • Conception of Civil Society in Confucian Thought
    • 28. Confucian Ethics: Emphasis
      • The moral teachings of Confucius emphasized:
      • Self-Cultivation;
      • Emulation of Moral Exemplars; and
      • Attainment of Skilled Judgment than the Knowledge of Rules.
      • Because of these teachings, Confucius’s ethics is considered as a type of Virtue Ethics (moral agent over rules).
    • 29. The Basis of Ethical Thought
      • The basis of ethical thought in Confucius’ idea is xi , zhi , li , yi , wen and ren.
    • 30. Virtue Ethics: Overview
      • General Definition: what sort of person one should become and what way of life one should live; emphasis of being than doing.
      • Not a Chinese term; the framework is dominant of the West and has its roots in the Ancient Greek Philosophy, which was later enhanced by Thomas Aquinas during the Medieval Period.
      • Confucius’s Ethics thus believes that morality stems from the identity/character of the individual, rather than the outcome of his/her actions (consequentialism), rules (deontology) or social context (pragmatic ethics).
    • 31. Confucian Virtue Ethics: The Three Components
      • Contrasted with deontology and consequentialism (the three are the mainstream contemporary normative ethical theories).
      • Flourishing: Confucius expresses a preference of a life taking joy in simple pleasures.
      • The virtues: the unity of virtues of benevolence, righteousness, wisdom and propriety.
      • Ethical Cultivation and Philosophical Anthropology: discovery, re-formulation and development.
    • 32. Ethical Particularism
      • Analects (11.22): ethical teaching is taught according to the needs and abilities of different students.
      • Golden Rule: “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.”
      • Silver Rule: “What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others.”
      • Although these rules are universal, in different situations Confucius would advise a person to do different things. Hence he was a particularist.
    • 33. Conception of Confucian Civil Society
      • The Confucians searched for a stable political order without any exercise of force and withhold of moral principles.
      • The Western secular civil society discourse, seperating that of “ private” and ”public” spheres is completely relative to Confucians. The same is true between voluntary and involuntary forms of association.
      • Minjian Shuhui – ”people-based society” in interpreting civil society, thus the inevitability of collective action and authoritarianism relative to morality.
    • 34. Civil Society and the Five Relationships
      • Five Relationships does not justify authoritarian system per se, but the doctrine of ”three bonds”, between ruler/minister, father/son and husband/wife arguably does.
      • On the basis of five relationships, a civil society grounded in creative or complementary reciprocity would prevent weaker members from acting as moral agents in the reciprocal exchanges that bind the society together.
    • 35. Civil Society and the Five Relationship
      • Two main elements of civil society (Hung Zongxi, a neo-confucian scholar):
        • Confucian justification for a rule of law that would place limitations on the ruler’s power.
        • Strengthen schools and learned academicies so that they could increase the numbers of civil servants for a functioning and professionalized government and center of educated public opinion.
    • 36. Confucian Virtues Ren, Li, Shu, Xiao
    • 37. Virtue or De
      • Acquisition of virtue is through learning.
      • To be virtuous one must live in a virtuous life.
      • Education is necessary for one to have a virtuous life.
      • Emphasis of virtue is on the cultivation, study and development.
    • 38. Ren (Benevolence)
      • Generally means human-heartedness.
      • Ultimate Foundation of Confucianism: “the essence of all virtues and the ground of human dignity.”
      • Universal and Particular Perspectives: primary principle of human actions in the former and principle of moral justification in the latter.
      • Ren can be interpreted as both Golden and Silver Rule: loving others and consciousness-of-human others.
    • 39. Li (Propriety)
      • Li sets the “form of moral life” and “the proper ritual of a civilized life.”
      • As propriety, Li pertains to the “rule and conduct that reflects a person’s goodwill”: doing things in a right way and virtue that forms man’s conduct.
      • Li is aided by Ren for one to show concern for others.
    • 40. Zhong (loyalty and consciousness) and Shu (reciprocity and altruism)
      • Ren , being the most fundamental virtue needs both Zhong and Shu for its practice.
      • Zhong embodies the positive practice or the Golden Rule of Ren .
      • Shu embodies the negative practice or the Silver Rule of Ren , signifying a cautious and prohibitive advice.
      • The correlation between Zhong’s positive dimension and Shu’s prohibitive principle make them indispensable virtues for the Ren .
    • 41. Xiao (filial piety)
      • The cardinal virtue of the Confucian virtues.
      • It is “an attitude of respect and concern toward parents and superiors.”
      • Children should show love, devotion and respect to their parents.
      • Family is the training ground for the development of Xiao , since all moral teachings should all be firstly practiced in the family.
    • 42. Xiao : Five Relationships
      • According to Confucius, each person has a specific place in society and certain duties to fulfill. Confucius hoped that if people knew what was expected of them, they would behave correctly.
      • Thus, the Five Relationships:
        • Between State and Citizen;
        • Between Father and Son;
        • Between Husband and Wife;
        • Between elder Brother and younger Brother;
        • Between Friends.
        • * Wherein the inferior should always obey and respect the superior. But, in turn the superior should love the inferior.
    • 43. Xiao: Five Relationships Confucius: father and son relations is the most important, because in it the order of society and government is rooted.
    • 44. Virtues as Paradigm of Social and Moral Order
      • As a wiseman or a sage, Confucius teachings on virtues are excellent models of reconstructing a good and social moral order.
      • Stressed the moral motivation of people, because for him, what is morally significant is the cultivation of moral lives and virtues as a whole and not merely the performance of right acts.
      • The cultivation of Ren, Zhong, Shu, Yi, Li and Xiao could help people come to terms with sound moral lives.
    • 45. Virtues as Paradigm of Social and Moral Order
      • A Ren man has ”...a built-in standard for dealing with others...the measure of his good is the very measure of the good which he must accord to others.”
      • Guided by the principles of Zhong and Shu , the Ren man is always cautious of his actions.
      • By acting according to moral standards, Li is a virtue that can help one attain self-discipline.
      • In the end, Xiao is a good paradigm of well-ordered relationship with family as its baseline.
      • To Confucius, family and its relationship is the heart of all forms of interpersonal relationship.
    • 46. Right Ordering of the State
    • 47. Jūnzi 君子
      • What is a Junzi?
        • Literally, the ‘lord’s son’
        • Translations: "Gentlemen," "superior man," noble person, paradigmatic individual, exemplary person.
        • The term junzi was originally applied to princes or aristocratic men. Confucius invested the term with an ethical significance while maintaining its connotation of noble refinement
    • 48. Jūnzi 君子
      • What is a Junzi?
        • Confucius' goal (through education) is to create gentlemen who carry themselves with grace, speak correctly, and demonstrate integrity in all things
        • Thus, the junzi is cultured and knows how to act and speak appropriately in any situation;
        • junzi is not a commander of or ruler over inferior subjects but rather a moral person who leads by his character and conduct.
    • 49. Jūnzi 君子
      • Who can become a Junzi?
        • Despite its literal meaning, any righteous man willing to improve himself can become a junzi
        • In Fact, Confucianism exhorts all people to strive for the ideal of a Junzi
    • 50. Jūnzi 君子
      • How can we recognize a Junzi?
        • One of his disciples said: ‘we can recognize a Junzi by the fact that his movements are free from any brusqueness or violence, that his expression is one of complete openness and sincerity, that his speech is free from any low and vulgar or as we should say ‘Cockney’ tinge’
        • He is superior in character and behavior
    • 51. Jūnzi 君子
      • What are the responsibilities of a Junzi?
        • cultivate themselves morally;
        • show filial piety and loyalty where these are due;
        • cultivate humanity, or benevolence.
        • The junzi enforces rule in his subjects by acting virtuously himself
          • It is thought that his pure virtue will lead others to follow his example.
    • 52. Jūnzi 君子
      • What is the opposite of a Junzi?
        • Xiaorén 小人 (literally, small person)
          • The character 小 in this context means petty in mind and heart, narrowly self-interested, greedy, superficial, or materialistic.
          • A Xiaoren cannot transcend personal concerns and prejudices and acts only for his own gain
    • 53. Jūnzi 君子
      • Who is an example of a Junzi?
          • The great exemplar of the perfect gentleman is Confucius himself. Perhaps the tragedy of his life was that he was never awarded the high official position which he desired, from which he wished to demonstrate the general well-being that would ensue if humane persons ruled and administered the state.
    • 54. Some Quotes from Analects of Confucius about the Junzi
      • "The superior man in everything considers righteousness to be essential. He performs it according to the rules of propriety. He brings it forth in humility. He completes it with sincerity. This is indeed a superior man
      • "The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions"
      • 'A gentleman is at peace and ease, but not arrogant.’
      • 'A gentleman encompasses all and is not partial.'
      • 'A gentleman help others to fulfill good, not vice.’ 
    • 55. Good Government
      • Confucius achieved positions of ministership, by virtue of his philosophical distinction, in a number of States and was thus in good position to portray the objectives of Government in his age as well as the special qualities of the rulers in contradistinction with those of the ruled
      • Confucius was first a bureaucrat and then a teacher of young men aspiring to government service.
    • 56. Good Government
      • The moral ideal of government
        • Humane Government
          • It should be in advance of the people
        • Guidance by Virtue not by Threat
          • Confucius said: ‘Guide the People with governmental measures and control or regulate them by the threat of punishment, and the people will try to keep out of jail, but will have no sense of honor or shame. Guide the People by Virtue and control or regulate them by li, and the people will have a sense of honor and respect’
          • ‘ When the sovereign is a good son, and a good brother, and applies the same principles to the government of the nation, that is also what we call government’
          • "He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all the stars turn towards it"
    • 57. Good Government
      • Government By Moral Example
        • In order to govern others one must first govern oneself.
          • When developed sufficiently, the king's personal virtue spreads beneficent influence throughout the kingdom
          • when a prince’s personal conduct is correct, his government is effective without the issuing of orders. If his personal conduct is not correct, he may issue orders, but they will not be followed.”
            • By saying this, Confucius has put before the ruling class the entire responsibility of their empire/territory/land/etc. by teaching the lesson of good morality equals good governance
    • 58. Good Government
      • Government By Moral Example
        • In order to govern others one must first govern oneself.
          • By being the "calm center" around which the kingdom turns, the king allows everything to function smoothly and avoids having to tamper with the individual parts of the whole
          • "The moral power of the exemplary person is the wind; that of the petty person is grass. When the wind blows over the grass, it will surely bend."
    • 59. Good Government
      • Factors of Government
        • Sufficient food for people
        • Sufficient Army
        • People’s Confidence in the ruler
      • Q: If you are forced to give up one of these 3? What would you go without first?
        • Confucius answered: ‘I would go without the army first, then I would go without sufficient food for people. There have always been deaths in every generation since man lived, but a nation cannot exist without confidence in its ruler. ’
    • 60. Good Government
      • How would you recognize a good government?
        • “ When a country is well-governed, poverty and a mean condition are things to be ashamed of. When a country is ill-governed, riches and honor are things to be ashamed of”
        • "Good government obtains, when those who are near are made happy, and those who are far off are attracted"
    • 61. Evaluation of Confucius Political Thought in the Western Democracy and China Selected Chapter from Confucius and the Chinese Way by H. G. Creel
    • 62. Confucianism and the Western Democracy
      • There is evidence that the thinking of the Enlightenment moved to positions much more similar to those of Confucianism than those of the contemporary church.
      • Above fact was recognized and widely proclaimed by leading figures of the Enlightenment, i.e. Christian Wolff, Gottfried Leibniz, Voltaire, Eustace Budgell, Gustave Lanson.
    • 63. Confucianism and the Western Democracy
      • Gustave Lanson, a French historian claims that a transformation in France from 1680 to 1715 had its salient points from Confucian Thought:
      • The demand for clear and coherent thinking: “One must seek the truth for one’s self.”
      • The good is “the golden mean.”
      • The good and pleasant became identified.
      • The good was a product of culture and civilization.
      • Philosophy of pleasure was enlarged to one of reciprocity.
      • The virtue of “charity” was replaced by that of “humanity.”
    • 64. Confucius and China
      • Confucianism formed the basis for Chinese social order since 200 BC and even today majority of Chinese still behaved accordingly.
      • Confucius has a lot of similarities with socialism today; collective interests and community welfare above individual interests.
      • The importance of education and merit is evidently practiced in contemporary China.
      • Moral teaching and ethical humanism remains valued in China.
    • 65. Critiques
    • 66. Taken from Han Fei Zi
      • Confucian view is impossibly idealistic to succeed in practice
        • It over-estimates the number of people who can be transformed and made good through the power of virtue
    • 67. Han Fei Zi
      • Following or imitating the virtuous can also make things worse for some.
        • the virtuous person is not always a proper role model for the non-virtuous person.
          • for someone who is defective or has lesser ability to attempt what a person who is perfected or who has much greater ability does. 
        • There have already been changes in the world
          • What worked in the past will likely fail miserably in the present, even if practiced by equally capable people
    • 68. Han Fei Zi
      • Possible Confucian Rebuttal: The advice to imitate the sages amounts to the idea that one ought to ‘do what’ they did, but internally and mentally, rather than externally and physically, or in other words, to think the same way they thought. hence one who is trying to imitate the sages need not be committed to pursuing lines of action that ,either because of one’s own deficiencies or because of the circumstances, tend toward disaster.
    • 69. Han Fei Zi
      • This ‘Confucian’ Rebuttal creates problems, which brings back to the 2 problems mentioned earlier.
        • If I am not as smart as a sage, then using the same methods as a sage to decide what to do may simply be too hard for me to do without horrendous results
        • or even if I am capable of applying the same deliberative methods correctly, under different circumstances those methods might be precisely the wrong way to think
        • Lastly, if they take the sages as a model for imitation only in the sense that they provide examples of right judgment or good character, rather than specific guides for action and thought, then they undermine the distinctiveness of their own position
    • 70. Summary/Conclusions
      • Confucius was born in a time when conflict and war were everywhere, which brought about social and moral decay. He wanted order and harmony, thus, Confucius thought of a way to restore this social and moral order, hence, the creation of his philosophy, Confucianism.
      • The ethical thought in Confucianism is inseparable from its virtuous guidance and embracement of Virtue Ethics.
      • Politically speaking, it is fair to say that Confucians searched for political order but its attainment should be through moral principles rather than hard power and force.
      • There are four major virtues of Confucianism, i.e. Ren, Li, Shu, Xiao and they are all interconnected in forming a paradigm of social and moral order found on daily lives. To lead a virtuous life, it is imperative that one maintains familial relationship, because to Confucius broken family relations will inevitably lead to corroding society.
    • 71. Summary/Conclusions
      • A junzi is an ideal man to lead society. He leads by his conduct and character. Its opposite is the Xiaoren,who only acts for personal gains
      • A good government is a humane government and the leader should guide by moral example. Factors of a good government include Confidence of people in ruler, sufficient food and army.
      • The idea of Confucius becomes salient to the realization of Enlightenment in general and French Revolution in particular to the gradual establishment of Western Democracy. Furthermore, its philosophical thinking is still prominent domestically and widely practiced throughout the contemporary Chinese society.
      • Confucianism faces many criticisms, which include: Confucianism being too idealistic for practice and the fact that a imitating a virtuous man might make things worse for some people (thus, making it erroneous both in theory and practice).
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    • 75. End David Bryan Ong and Gibran Drajat Group 5