The Life and Work of Confucius Philosophy Essay Confucius

1052 WordsMar 10, 20135 Pages
The Life And Work Of Confucius Philosophy Essay Confucius (551 – 479 BCE), was a thinker, political figure, educator and founder of the Ru School of Chinese thought. Confucius was born at Shang-ping, in the country of Lu. His given name was Kong, but his disciples called him Kong-fu-tse, (i.e. Kong the Master, or Teacher.) His father passed away when he was only three years old. Confucius mother Yan-she raised him. During his younger years Confucius showed a love of learning, and an expression of awe for the ancient laws of his country. Confucius was only nineteen years old when he married, but he divorced his wife after only four years of marriage so that he could have more time for his study and the performance of his public duties.…show more content…
Some have argued that, because of the text's inconsistencies and incompatibilities of thought, there is much in the Analects that is non-Confucian and should be discarded as a basis for understanding the thought of Confucius. Benjamin Schwartz cautions us against such radical measures. While textual criticism based on rigorous philological and historic analysis is crucial, and while the later sections [of the Analects] do contain late materials, the type of textual criticism that is based on considerations of alleged logical inconsistencies and incompatibilities of thought must be viewed with great suspicion. . . . While none of us comes to such an enterprise without deep-laid assumptions about necessary logical relations and compatibilities, we should at least hold before ourselves the constant injunction to mistrust all our unexamined preconceptions on these matters when dealing with comparative thought. (The World of Thought in Ancient China, p. 61) Confucius' philosophy was predominately a moral and political one. It was founded on the belief that heaven and earth coexist in harmony and balanced strength while maintaining a perpetual dynamism. Human beings, he taught, are sustained by these conditions and must strive to emulate the cosmic model. The Doctrine of the Mean is the elaboration of the way of
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