Confucian teachings

Confucianism.” Hannah Bytoft. 9 February 2011.

“Confucian Teachings.” Chinese Civilization: A Sourcebook. Patricia Ebrey: Read 17-26.

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9 responses to “Confucian teachings

  1. Pingback: READINGS & Assignments | History of Stuff

  2. This reading reminded me also of something, (it is crazy how sometimes history is strangely connected) the Enlightenment, at the beginning of the reading, it explained who were really the Confucians, it says: ” Confucius (551-479, before Christ) was a man of no particular distinction in his own way who exerted a profound influence on the development of Chinese culture through his teachings.” If you studied the Age of Enlightenment, you know that the philosophers studied a lot of subjects to make the life of the people easier and also, most of them were against this monarchy and thinking of other ways of ruling, such as in France, Montesquieu, a famous philosopher, traveled to England to discover their system, it was Constitutional Monarchy. The same for Alexis de Tocqueville who went to the United States of America to explain to the French people that we should be as the Americans, but all that caused revolutions, the famous “French Revolution” in France and several revolutions in other European countries.
    Also, this reading show how ahead was China, can you imagine? In 551 before Christ, this period of the Chinese philosophers started, and in Europe it was in the 18th Century. A big gap of time.

  3. Now, I wonder if the Chinese people listened to those philosophers to develop better the “Empire” (at this time) as for example French people did but cause revolution or did not and followed their own instinct? What do you think?

  4. Confucius had a philosophy about how to behave and treat other people. He believed in justice, have pride and be magnanimous. I like this idea of “Treat everyone as if you were welcoming a great guest.” That is not an easy thing to do, but that is exactly what you have to do in order to be a gentleman. Everything he says sounds so right and he seems to know how to handle every situation
    However if I got this right, this philosophy acquirers everyone, adults, children, men and women, then how come he keeps refers to “him”?

  5. After I had read the reading, I felt that the similarities to the bible were very many. I am after all not an expert on the bible at all, but as far as I know, it was very obvious that they had the same structure and main message. The fact that the philosophers in China though about these things 551 years before Christ comparing to when we did it in Europe, really fascinates me, just as Charles pointed out. The fact that the philosophers in China already had though about that in such early years might be one of the reasons why China was/is a head in many aspects comparing to other nations?

    After I was done with the reading, a question similar to Charle’s was stucked in my head. “Did the Chinese people listened to those philosophers to develop better a Empire? And most important, did it work?”
    I do not know the answer, but I think that the answers is both yes, and no.
    I am sure that the Chinese people listened to what the philosophers said, but I am not that sure that the Chinese people did as the philosophers suggested. It is always easier to say it, comparing to do it. Take a peasant for example, I doubt that he would be the first one who “gave the Way a try”. I think that it were needed to make someone who had lot of respect and status to join this Way before other people dared and saw it as something good. I also think even though not the whole Chinese population liked and followed this Way, it inspired the Chinese people to come up with new thought how people should treat each other, and as the last pages at the reading told us “Influence affects everyone”. So overall, I think that the Philosophers made things better. They made people think about why they did certain things and how easy it was to change your own behaviour a little bit and that it would benefit everybody, including yourself.

  6. So, my question is; If these kind of thoughts already existed that early, why have not China got the freedom of speech for example? And what about the censure news for example, why does the government censured them?

  7. Yes Erik you are right it is sort of similar to the Bible. But even after reading the first paragraph I noticed the Confucianism or Confucius had ideology very similar to that of Communism. In the reading it states, “He talked repeatedly of an ideal age in the early Zhou, revealing his vision of a more perfect society in which rulers and subjects, nobles and commoners, parents and children, men and women would all wholeheartedly accept the parts assigned to them, devoting themselves to their responsibilities to other”. This is the same in Communism where each person has their part to do for the well-being of the class-less society that they live in.

  8. Does this mean that China today is based on the system of Confucianism?

  9. Confucianism rhymes with Communism. Is that where the term came from ? Were Marx’s ideologies inspired by Confucius ? I don’t know, but it looks plausible.
    Answering your question Ash, I think that the whole world is somewhat based on Confucianism as without peace and mutual respect the world we would be in total chaos.

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