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Confucius is an important figure in the history of China. Scientists often argue about the date of his birth (Kaizuka and Bownas 42). He is respected for his morals and views of justice. He often gave lectures on different topics, and the ideas were written down by his students (Freedman and Clement 8).
They were later collected in a collection of books called Analects. Many wanted to follow his teachings. Ames and Rosemont state that his colleagues “saw themselves as returning to the tradition and providing metaphysical underpinnings for the views of Confucius and other ancient cultural heroes” (17). In other words, they wanted to expand the ideas that were first introduced by the philosopher.
Experience of Confucius
Confucius sums up his personal experience in this passage. He tries to explain to his students that life should be dedicated to learning if one wants to achieve the success in the future. The knowledge that is gained when someone is young can be useful later on, and it will help to make right decisions. He also touches the topic of religion.
Tian is one of the most important concepts in his teachings, and it symbolizes heaven. What is interesting is that Confucius thinks that a person changes every ten years and discovers something new. It is important that he explains the purpose of life in the last sentence. This passage is most likely one of the latest.
This passage is about a conversation between Confucius and his disciples. The teacher wanted to determine which one is capable of managing a state and asked them a question. Answers were very different. Philosopher has smiled after the first one because the disciple was too ambitious. He liked the second answer much more because the disciple was confident in his abilities. The third one also did not satisfy Confucius because it focused on such insignificant things as caps and robes.
The teacher liked the last answer the most because the disciple has described the importance of rituals. The person that manages the state should make a spiritual connection with the people in the opinion of the philosopher. It is not explained why Confucius has agreed with the fourth student, and one has to figure the reasoning by studying all the books.
Confucius and Daoists
This story is about a disciple of Confucius asking Daoists for help that was later reported to the teacher. They did not want to tell the directions and were disrespectful in their answers. The teacher was extremely disappointed because he wanted to change the world to be more peaceful.
Daoists were against the political efforts of the philosopher and often criticized him and his teachings. The problem is the difference between their philosophies (Mattice 66). The difference between them is that Confucius accepted the beliefs of others and wanted to create a society where people are not disrespected because of their religion.
In conclusion, teachings of Confucius can be applied even to modern day situations and anyone can relate to his teachings (Yang 33). He expresses his opinion on different topics such as the meaning of life, religion, and politics. His way of thinking is extraordinary and hard to describe (Yu 12). Overall, this is an excellent collection of memorable passages that should be quoted much more often.
Ames, Roger T., and Henry Rosemont. The Analects of Confucius. 2nd ed. 2010. New York, NY: Random House Publishing Group. Print.
Freedman, Russell, and Frederic Clement. Confucius: The Golden Rule. New York, NY: Scholastic Inc., 2002. Print.
Kaizuka, Shigeki, and Geoffrey Bownas. Confucius: His Life and Thought. Mineola, NY.: Dover Publications, 2002. Print.
Mattice, Sarah A. Metaphor and Metaphilosophy: Philosophy as Combat, Play, and Aesthetic Experience. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2014. Print.
Yang, Jie. The Political Economy of Affect and Emotion in East Asia. London, United Kingdom: Routledge, 2014. Print.
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Yu, Dan. Confucius from the Heart: Ancient Wisdom for Today’s World. London, United Kingdom: Pan Macmillan, 2010. Print.