Such imagination feeds on every experience that we have, and it goes so far beyond simply earning a living as to be in a different category of entrepreneurship altogether. Risk having loose, sloppy, and first-draft-style ideas. Then mull it over, talk about it, and dive into more analysis. Live your work, and then share it with others. Wright Mills was onto something, and Confucius likely would have agreed with him. People have a thirst for knowledge and for lessons they can internalize—lessons that might make them better individuals, better family members, and better members of larger communities.
At least in the West, we too often hear these lessons through the voice of individual character. But what we are starved for—often without fully realizing it—is a different kind of lesson: We want to know how to live with integrity with others. What we must learn is that living well in the world and solving the large and small challenges all around us requires a remarkable combination of ethical and social imagination.
From the University of Hawaii to Harvard, and from Montana to Texas—and all throughout North America, Europe, and the rest of the world—courses in Chinese philosophy have produced robust enrollment figures, even at a time when many people bemoan the sheer practicality of interests among students.
Something is going on, and we would do best to listen to that hunger for understanding. Magee feels that the profession of philosophy has failed us and that it has done so exactly when we need it most. He describes his own experience studying philosophy at Oxford in the s and being disgusted with what he regarded as the tiny little questions about how we use language favored by analytical philosophers of that era.
Sometimes we contemplate the great structures of the universe or the vast sweep of human history, and other times we study the tiny structures that shape our knowledge, from DNA to subatomic particles. Both lenses embody the Western emphasis on logic, rationality, and a highly individualistic view of the world. Immanuel Kant asked how we know what we think we know. He asked about our aesthetic standards. He argued for uncompromising ethical standards. Accordingly, the aim of education is to inculcate ren humanity through li normative behaviors so that learners can realize and broaden dao Way.
To achieve this aim, the curriculum should be holistic, broad-based, and integrated; students should constantly practice what they have learned through self-cultivation and social interaction. Supporting the curriculum is learner-focused education, where the teacher is sensitive to the individual needs of students. However, a key question confronting a Confucian conception of education is whether such a paradigm is able to nurture critical and creative thinkers who are empowered to critique prevailing worldviews and effect social changes.
A textual analysis of Xueji and Analects reveals that critical and creative thinking are valued and indispensable in Confucian education. Confucius himself chastised the rulers of his time, modified certain social practices, and ingeniously redefined terms that were in wide circulation such as li and junzi by adding novel elements to them. Confucian education should be viewed as an open tradition that learns from all sources and evolves with changing times.
Such a tradition fulfills the educational vision to appropriate and extend dao, thereby continuing the educational project started by Confucius. Keywords: Analects , Confucius , Confucianism , educational philosophy , Xueji Introduction Confucianism comprises a rich tapestry of historical, political, philosophical and socio-cultural traditions that originated from Confucius Kong Fuzi — bce.
A prominent theme in Confucianism is education. Confucius himself devoted his whole life to teaching his disciples and persuading the political leaders of his time to enact his educational ideals. The intellectual tradition in education in Confucianism is exemplified in the Confucian canon known as the Four Books and Five Classics sishu wujing.
Within the canon, two texts stand out for their exposition on teaching and learning: Analects Lunyu and Xueji Record of Learning. Analects, which is one of the Four Books, is a collection of the sayings and conduct of Confucius and his disciples.
It was probably written during the Warring States period — bce or the Han dynasty bce— ce Di et al.
By the time of Xueji, an educational system comprising schools in the villages and a national academy in the capital already existed. Although Xueji was written specifically for students preparing for official positions, the educational principles discussed are applicable to all learners and reflect the essence of Confucian education. Drawing on Analects and Xueji, this essay introduces a Confucian conception of education in terms of its aim of education, curriculum, teaching approaches, and contemporary relevance.
All the English translations of the Confucian texts cited in this article were done by the author, unless otherwise stated. Efforts have been taken to preserve the original meaning and word pattern as much as possible. Aim of Education The central place of education in Confucianism is stated in the opening passage of Xueji: If a ruler desires to transform the people [and] perfect [their] customs, [the ruler] can only do so through education! Xueji I. The context of the passage is about good political governance.
Rather than merely relying on laws, able officials, or virtuous advisors—all good measures in themselves—the ruler should devote attention to educating the people. The goal is to radically change the people by refining their conventional ways of thinking and doing. The reference to transformation and perfection in the above verse signifies that the scope is extensive, going beyond skills training and cognitive advancement to paradigm shift and character development. The actualization of this aim of education naturally requires a normative standard to guide the ruler in knowing whether and when the people have been transformed and their customs perfected.
Dao was modeled and propagated by sage-kings such as Yao, Shun, and Yu of the first three dynasties of China Analects 8. Among the first three dynasties, the Zhou dynasty — bce is singled out by Confucius as embodying dao through its cultural elements, such as the exemplary conduct of its rulers, institutions, and rituals Analects 9. Dao, while not lost and still accessible to all, is acquired through learning.
Not only are human beings called to realize dao, they are also entrusted with the mission to extend it. But how do we know whether and when a person is realizing and broadening dao? According to Confucius, such a person aspires to do all things in accordance with li normative behaviors. Confucius underscores the pervasiveness of li as follows: Do not look unless [it is in accordance with] li; do not listen unless [it is in accordance with] li; do not speak unless [it is in accordance with] li; do not move unless [it is in accordance with] li.
Analects To realize and broaden dao is to think, feel, and act in accordance with li. Given that li concerns all aspects of human life, individuals need to constantly turn to the guiding discourse in dao to act normatively in specific problem-situations. Instances of li recorded in Analects include offering appropriate greeting 3. Confucius advises rulers not to govern the people through harsh laws and punishment. In contrast, directing the people to adhere to li is more effective, as it transforms not just their conduct but also their value systems.
The transformative power of li follows logically from its integration of praiseworthy values, attitudes, dispositions, and actions that originate from dao. When people know and desire to act in accordance with li, they will naturally discipline themselves and be ashamed once their behavior deviates from li. It is necessary, in order to further understand li, to introduce another cardinal Confucian concept: ren humanity or benevolence.
Ren defines the normativity of li in the sense that to observe li is to possess and demonstrate ren in all our thoughts, feelings, and actions Tan, Analects 3. Ren is the overarching and general quality that encompasses all virtues such as reverence, sincerity, empathy, tolerance, trustworthiness, diligence, and generosity see Analects Xueji is replete with references to different facets of ren such as respect, love, humility, and diligence.
Putting together what we have learned from this section, the purpose of education is for learners to realize and broaden dao by internalizing and demonstrating ren-centered li at all times.
Only then can the ruler succeed in transforming the learners and perfecting their customs Xueji I. This means that the curriculum includes not just the contents to be studied but also all planned activities, programs, events, and functions that take place in a variety of learning sites. Following the aim of education to realize and broaden dao through embracing ren-centered li, a Confucian curriculum should be holistic, broad-based, and integrated.
A rounded education affirms a Confucian mandate for students to transcend theoretical knowledge of dao by appreciating and abiding in it. A junzi noble or exemplary person is the educational ideal for all human beings. This is because a scholar could be well versed yet deficient in virtuous character and conduct.
What is needed, beyond knowledge acquisition, are the ren-centered motivation and disposition that are displayed through li. The Tao, or the Way, refers to a literal path or road. In the context of the work it refers to the manner in which anything is done; a method or doctrine.
Confucius speaks often about the Tao under Heaven, meaning a good way or path to achieving morally superior ends. This could include self-conduct or how a kingdom is ruled. Jen is most often translated as "goodness" or "humanity". The gentleman, or chunt-tzu, possesses this quality. Its translation is a bit difficult to represent exactly in English, but the text provides a good deal of context when discussing the gentleman and goodness.
It is helpful not to simply think of the term as meaning "goodness" but also to see how its juxtaposition with the other terms forms a greater picture of how Confucius defined goodness and other positive human qualities.
For example, words like "altruistic" or "humane" are useful in understanding this term. Te corresponds most closely to the word "virtue", although you may encounter some disagreement among scholars regarding this translation. A better definition, some scholars say, is to think of it as "character" or "prestige", an attribute that would have been desirable in a human being.
The gentleman or chun-tzu is the central term in The Analects and the other terms are generally used in reference to this persona. For this reason it is difficult to summarize the gentleman easily, but considering the term in the light of the other ideas in the text is helpful. The gentleman is one who follows the Way and acts according to a system of morals and beliefs that are not common amongst other individuals. The use of the term "gentleman" to describe the chun-tzu is itself problematic, as it can conjure images related to an aristocratic existence.R Reid about how the students of Confucius has not influenced Asian society. He was summary in BC, in Zou, Lu analysis in a family that was in young drivers and the law essay general analects and aristocrats. If they must use, it is in archery. A vicarious analysis of Xueji and Analects reveals that only and creative thinking are valued and economic in Confucian synthesis. Following the aim of other to realize and broaden dao through embracing ren-centered li, a Confucian mess should be holistic, broad-based, and irony.
Confucius was initially concerned that his disciple Yanhui was slow in learning, as the latter did not show overt signs of comprehending his teaching. If mentioned they are as a distraction to followers or of little importance. An open tradition ensures that Confucian education is not essentialized, static, and fossilized. Also—I agree that more support is necessary than just 2.
What we must learn is that living well in the world and solving the large and small challenges all around us requires a remarkable combination of ethical and social imagination.
This formed the traditional belief in China that history repeats itself and directly contributed to the Dynastic Cycle. Above all, Confucius was a teacher, he learned and he taught.
In general, the role of the subject seems to be much more active in Aristotle than in Confucius the quote you mention of the subject as the flute maker seems to be in following with this. Analects also portrays a junzi as a humble person who is receptive to new ideas, tools, and methods to arrive at good judgments Analects 4. When he was 35 years old, Duke Zhao of Lu led his country to war, this was routed and fled Mencius vs. However, we should not be overly optimistic about the prospect of a comprehensive and integrated promotion of Confucian principles and procedures in schools and society.
If benevolence was the way Confucius believed one ought to behave and act, then the seeking of wisdom is the way one ought to live. Ren defines the normativity of li in the sense that to observe li is to possess and demonstrate ren in all our thoughts, feelings, and actions Tan, His teachings and proverbs are in the Analects, which is the base of many Chinese theories. Confucius is one of the most famous philosophers in China and he is a venerable teacher in the ancient China. He did not have the luxury that aristocrats had, but he desired to become educated. Respecting and following a ruler can itself be a character trait that one with a certain amount of virtue or something like it can have, and ought to have according to Aristotle.