Analects of Confucius Stands as Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

Filial piety and fraternal submission -- are they not the root of all benevolent actions?" The superior man does not innovate, but is judged upon how perfectly bows to the conventions that were established, to what moral truths and ideals have come before his existence on earth and in heaven. (the Analects, Chapter 1)

The superior also is deferential to his subordinates -- and aloof from those beneath him. Even when the student Tsze-kung asks Confucius "What do you pronounce concerning the poor man who yet does not flatter, and the rich man who is not proud?" The Master replied, "they will do; but they are not equal to him, who, though poor, is yet cheerful, and to him, who, though rich, loves the rules of propriety." In other words, even a poor man who is not socially aspiring should be cheerful in his or her deference. Furthermore, although the rich man may not be proud, he should observe some remove and propriety towards his subordinates and not be overly free in his social relations with his inferiors. (the Analects, Chapter 1)

Duty to who and what has come before, to both moral principles and the persons of one's answers, conformity rather than nonconformity and innovation is what is paramount in Confucian philosophy, in direct contrast to the American stress upon innovation in ideas, governance, and moral behavior. The assembler of the Analects quotes not only Confucius, but also Confucius quoting those who taught before him, stressing the continuity rather than the innovation of Confucian philosophy. "The philosopher Yu [is said to have said, according to Confucius] "In practicing the rules of propriety, a natural ease is to be prized." Confucius, in one's social mannerism additionally reinforces the idea that a lack of hard effort should be affected, rather than any illusion of social betterment and hard work and achieving an image of upward mobility, in contrast to American values. (the Analects, Chapter 1)

Also, rather than stress equality of all persons, the master states: "Have no friends not equal to yourself." Individuals must keep to their specific and enclosed stratum of society -- although Confucius does not state individuals should be compared with one another as better or worse, that women are not 'good' compared to men, for example, in a harmonious social order, all individuals are on a hierarchy, fulfill their functions on that hierarchy. This stress upon hierarchy in the pursuit of social harmony rather than social mobility means that a socially conservative state of affairs is achieved by following Confucian principles -- all individuals must fulfill their function on the ladder, from commoner to emperor, but each with different prescriptions of actions.

One of the reasons that Confucian philosophy strikes one as so alien is that Americans tend to stress a lack of governance to achieve a more perfect state, for the purpose of the government is to serve the people's freedom and to serve individual aims. For Confucius, however, the purpose of the human individual is to serve the state, and by serving the state create a better and more perfect world in harmony with heaven.

This does not mean that the ruler is absolved from doing good and serving the state, anymore than one's social betters can ignore one's social inferiors. In fact, much of the obligations of the Analects are directed to the members of the elite, administering classes and castes. "To rule a country of a thousand chariots, there must be reverent attention to business, and sincerity; economy in expenditure, and love for men; and the employment of the people at the proper seasons."

All persons must be employed in their proper places and achieve goodness in these places, even the Emperor. Thus, although it is tempting to discount the Analects as useful today, it is also important to note Confucius' purpose in authoring his work -- he wishes not simply to instruct obedience, but to spur a good leader to govern better, as well as for individuals to serve their leader and family better through achieving excellence in their individual spheres.

Works Cited

Confucius. The Analects of Confucius. Readings From Ancient China. Website maintained by Tony Beavers.[10…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Analects Of Confucius Stands As" (2005, June 10) Retrieved October 23, 2016, from

"Analects Of Confucius Stands As" 10 June 2005. Web.23 October. 2016. <>

"Analects Of Confucius Stands As", 10 June 2005, Accessed.23 October. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Analects of Confucius

    Old Age: Confucius Confucius, the great Chinese sage, was known for his stand on culture, old age, respect and admiration for one's parents and ancestors and tradition. Chinese revere tradition and everything old is also considered wise and better. For this reason Confucius felt that respecting one's elders and learning from them was the wisest and most admirable thing a young person could do. This he referred to as filial piety.

  • Confucius Who Is a Good Citizen

    Citizen in the Analects of Confucius A good citizen ought to have a number of qualities and behave in a certain way. To determine what it means to be a good citizen, one could consult the Analects of Confucius and relate the teachings therein to current events and happenings. From the onset, it would be prudent to point out that a significant portion of Confucius' teachings dwelt on the subject

  • How Is Heaven Tian Portrayed in the Analects

    Heaven This is a theory that originated in China. This is a political theory in which the rulers received the right to rule over their subjects from a heavenly source. The Mandate of Heaven (a philosophical) concept originated between 1046-256 BCE (Marshall 2002). The Zhou Dynasty ruled over the people of China during this time. The Mandate of Heaven determines if an emperor of China is virtuous to rule. It

  • On Confucius and Filial Piety Then and Now

    difficult for a person to be able to accept cultural values from a community that he or she is not familiar with. A person's cultural identity represents part of that person and shapes the way that he or she reacts to particular situations. The Chinese culture is very complex and entails a great deal of ideals and beliefs that are characteristically Chinese when considering the way they are put

  • Love There Is No World Religion That

    Love There is no world religion that doesn't speak of and teach love, but each has its own approach to love. Christianity, for instance, distinguishes itself from all other religions as the one most emphasizing love. The foremost symbol of Christianity is Christ on the cross, Christ as the incarnation of God, who loved us so much that He 'died for our sins.' The God who revealed himself on the

  • Cloistered Virtue and Democratic Freedom Role of Education for...

    philosophy of education through a historical and then through an explicitly Christian lens, with a focus on the political role of education, and the Christian philosophy of John Milton. Milton's 1644 works Areopagitica and Of Education are invoked to justify the true Christian purpose of education as being exposure to the sort of free expression and free exchange of ideas that are guaranteed in America under the First Amendment. What

  • Justice Has Different Meanings in

    '" (p. 42). This clearly indicates that Thrasymachus was not won and while Socrates ended the argument on a good note but it was more his own approval of his views than Thrasymachus'. We can thus say with confidence that Thrasymachus was also a wise man of considerable sagacity. He knew that Socrates could move people with the power of his speech and was thus completely prepared to meet his barrage

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved