Confucius (Kung Fu-Tzu) (551-479 BC) Sir Bong Ocaña, MA Philosophy
Biographical SketchFamily name = Kung (Kong)Personal name = Zhong-ni / Chung Ni Kung Fu-Tzu (Kong Fu-zi) = “Master Kung”“Confucius” = Latinization of “Kung Fu-Tzu”NB: Some spellings in the English Terminologies would vary, however, all refers to one and the same concept.
An Overview of the History of Chinese Philosophy•The Classical Age (6th century BC-2d century AD) Confucianism (Confucius, 551-479 BC) Daoism (Lao Tzu, 6th century BC) Mohism (Mo Tzu, 468-376 BC) The Yin-Yang School (founder unknown) The School of Names (Logic) (Hui Shih, c. 380-305 BC) Legalism (Han Fei Tzu, d. 23 BC) Figure 15–1
An Overview of the History of Chinese Philosophy The Medieval Age (2d-10th centuries BC) Relations & conflicts between Confucianism, Daoism, & Buddhism. The Modern Age (11th century AD-Present) Neo-Confucianism (incorporation of Daoist & Buddhist elements in an overall Confucian perspective) (Chu Hsi, 1130-1200 AD & many others) 20th century impact of Western philosophies such as Pragmatism & Marxism 15–4
Topic Areas The Chun-Tzu (the Confucian hero) Virtue (jen, ren) Propriety (li), including filial piety & religious propriety The Silver Rule (central ethical principle) Descriptions of Confucius (life) Words & actions (Lun Yu) Government (Politics) The Dao Miscellaneous teachings (Ssu Chu)
The sources of Confucian philosophyConfucius claimed to derive his teachings from “the Ancients,” whose wisdom is embodied in “The Five Classics” (Wu Jing) / (Wu Ching)The I Jing (“Book of Changes”) or I Ching Collection of texts on divination based on a set of 64hexagrams that reflect the relationship between Yin and Yangin nature and societyThe Shu Jing (“Book of History”) or Shu Ching Collection of documents and speeches dating from theLater Han DynastyDisclaimer: Spelling in other books may vary. (refer to slide number 2) 15–7
The sources of Confucian philosophyThe Shih Jing (“Book of Odes” [poetry]) or ShiChing Collection of 300 poems and songs from the earlyChou Dynasty (1027-402 BC)The Li Ji (“Book of Rites”) or Li Ching Consists of three books on the Li (Rites of Propriety)The Ch’un-ch’iu (“Spring & Autumn Annals”) orCh’un Ching Extracts from the history of the state of Lu 722-484,said to be compiled by Confucius 15–8
The Four Books (Ssu-chu)Analects (Lun-Yu) or Lun Yun - the most revered sacred scripture in theConfucian traditionThe Doctrine of the Mean (Zhongyong) or ChungYungThe Great Learning (Ta-hsueh)The Book of Meng-Tzu ( Mencius) (Mencius, 371-288 BC) Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 2001. Figure 15–4 15–9
Anthem The ancient State of Lu That’s where Confucius was born & spent most of his life.
Confucianism originated in China,but its influence spread to Korea &Japan over the centuries.
Chronology of Chinese History6000 BC: Prehistory (Belief in life after death; bone divination) -legendary Hsia Dynasty (c. 1994-1500 BC)1500-1040 BC: Shang Dynasty (Polytheism; spiritism; ancestor veneration; bone& shell divination) Figure 15–5 15–12
Chronology of Chinese History1040-256 BC: Zhou (Chou) Dynasty (Feudal era & classical age; rise of Shang-Ti & “Mandate ofHeaven;” ancestor veneration & divination practices; continuedbelief in spiritism; interest in life-prolongation & immortality; 8th-5thcenturies BC - period of disorder; emergence of classical Chinesephilosophies: Confucianism, Daoism, Mohism, Legalism, etc.) Also called as the Era of Warring States (475-221 BC)221-207 BC: Qin (Ch’in) Dynasty (“The Burning of the Books” in 213 BC) - Legalismenthroned; Confucianism attacked. 15–13
Chronology of Chinese History206 BC-25 AD: HAN DYNASTY Former Han Dynasty (beginnings of official stateConfucianism)25-220 AD: HAN DYNASTY Later Han Dynasty (rise of Chinese Empire;imperial state religion; Confucianism established as theofficial philosophy of the Chinese state; the coming ofBuddhism)220-280 AD: The Three Kingdoms Wei (220-266); Shu (221-263); Wu (222-280) (declineof Confucianism; rise of Daoism & Buddhism) Figure 15–8 15–14
Chronology of Chinese HistoryNeo-Confucianism Tang Dynasty - Han Yu (767-824 AD) Sung Dynasty - Cheng Hao (1032-1085); Cheng Yi (1033- 1108); Zhu Xi (Chu Hsi) (1130-1200) Ming Dynasty - Wang Yang-ming (1473-1529) Ch’ing Dynasty - Tai Chen (1723-1777) 20th century: Hsiung Shih- li (1885-1968); Fung Yu- lan (1895-1990); & others Figure 15–8 15–15
Metaphysics Ontology & Cosmology Dao (“Way”) - the Ultimate; the (Heaven is Yang in relation to Earth; and Earth is Yin One; the Absolute; the underlying in relation to Heaven; but each is, in itself, a blend of both Yin & Yang.) Source. Power; the Heaven and Earth are notdual expression of Yin/Yang - the OPPOSITES SunDao; neither CONTRADICTORIES other and moon are not is superior to the (see next slide) Both are complimenting each other and in their eternal strife and Plural World - is where harmony is The complimentariness the universe; found.
Yin & Yang female dark Heaven & cool sun moist passive negative male bright evil hot dry activeEarth & positivemoon good
"A basic difference between theChinese conception of yin and yang andother classical philosophical dualisms…is that whereas most dualisms areforever in conflict, yin and yang alwaysact in harmony, and both areconsidered to be necessary to maintainthe order of the universe." (Bilhartz262)
Confucian metaphysics, continued Theology Shang-Ti (God), the original ancestor (after the 11th century BC) Heaven (Tian, T’ien) - the divine realm (Human beings who have died live on with Shang-Ti as ancestors (ti) in Heaven.) Continuity & interchange between Heaven (the (The ancestors are to be worshipped, and sacrifices are to be divine realm) andto them; they, in turn, will guiderealm), us, offered Earth (the human and protect i.e.,Spiritism between the especially with regard to our futures (divination practices). ancestors & those living on Earth.(spirits every- When we die, we will join the ancestors in Heaven andwhere, good become ancestors ourselves.)[shen] & evil[gui]). [No hell(s)? See next slide.]
Before the arrival of• Buddhism in China, it seems that Chinese religions did not contain a well- developed idea of an afterlife. • The idea of multiple• The souls of those who had levels of hell entered lived in accord with the Chinese religion through “Mandate of Heaven” (will Buddhism, which arrived of Shang-Ti) would become in China in the 1st ancestors in Heaven; century AD. whereas • The religious Daoists• the souls of those who had accepted this idea (but not followed Heaven’s modified it in various decree would, after death, ways).
Is Hell temporary or permanent?In Buddhism, it is temporary.Confucianism has no clear answer to this question (because theConfucianists refuse to speculate on these matters). What is the Daoist view? (To be continued?)
Anthropology(Human Nature & the Human Predicament)• Human nature: • The human predicament: – naturally & – suffering as a result of inherently good - failure to follow the “Way need for cultivation of the Ancestors” via education – Disharmony & conflict – naturally social & between Heaven & Earth, political - between the ancestors & us; development & and between humans here perfection of human on earth nature within the – Solution of problem of social & political suffering: reestablish realm
Confucius’s primary goal: order, harmony, peace, & happiness in this life here on earth (He had only a secondary interest in “transcendental” salvation.)
Axiology (Theory of Value) Philosophy of art (aesthetics) - the moral & political purposes of art (especially music) Moral philosophy (ethics) - the center of Confucian philosophy (see next slide) Social & political philosophy (theory of government) - the need for morally & intellectually virtuous rulers & civil servants
Central themes in Confucian ethical theory:• The Chun-Tzu - the ideal of the Superior (self-actualized, • The Chun-Tzu is an virtuous, perfected) exemplification of ideal Person (Text, pp. 1- virtue, of Yi, of Ren, of 3) Li, and of Hsiao – see following slides….
Yi - righteousness, just and appropriate conduct • Ren (jen) - virtue* According to Confucianists, there is an – Positive formulation: objective, absolute, and unconditional moral obligation on all of us to work cultivation of feeling for universal human well-being, the (respect, empathy, common good, the general welfare (which will include ones own true compassion, love) for all good): Objective = not subjective; not humanity (Text, pp. 3-5) relative; the obligation is – Negative formulation: the independent of culturally and individually variable states of Silver Rule (Text, p. 7, vv. opinion, preference, feeling, or response. 85 & 86) Absolute = it extends throughout the whole sphere of moral obligation and cannot be suspended or overruled by any more basic or ultimate moral *Sometimes translated as principle with a wider range of “humanity” applicability. Unconditional = Oriental Philosophy, pp. 29-31. See Hackett, this obligation does not depend on the fulfillment
Confucian ethics, continued Li - Propriety (proper conduct) • The Rectification of • The Five Constant Names (Zheng-ming) Relationships: (proper use of language) – parent-child (Text, vv. 8, 9, 10, 11, – husband-wife 109-113, 129, 160) – elder sibling- younger sibling • The Doctrine of the – elder friend- Mean (Zhongyong) younger friend (Text, vv. 132, 155, 156) – ruler-subject
Confucian ethics / Li, continued Filial Piety (Xiao, Hsiao) (devotion to & reverence for parents & family) The institution of the family is the foundation of a well-ordered & civilized society (grounded mainly on respect of children for parents) Respect for age (experience & wisdom) (Text, pp. 5-6)
Confucian ethics / Li, continued proper practice of traditional Religiousrites Propriety (worship of God, ancestors, Heaven, Earth, spirits; funeral services & sacrifices in honor of parents) Text, vv. 64, 70, 72, 79-84
Confucian ethics (& aesthetics?), continued Wen (learning & the arts) • The importance of culture in the • Studying & learning creation & (Text, pp. 7-8) maintenance of a well-ordered society • The arts - especially music (Text, vv. 99) (Confucius composed a “Book of Music” [Yueh Jing], which is sometimes referred to as a “sixth classic.”)
Confucius’s PoliticalConfucian axiology, continued Philosophy Te - the union of power & virtue The characteristics of a good ruler (or civil servant): moral goodness (virtue & propriety) rationality moderation benevolence (Text, pp. 9-11)