An Introduction to the Analects

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  • Author: Li Defa;
  • Language: English
  • Page: 178
  • Publication Date: 08/2014
  • ISBN: 9787510435751
  • Publisher: New World Press
The Analects of Confucius is a work of philosophy which has had a profound influence on Chinese society and the Chinese people throughout the country's long history, and continues to exert its impact today. For more than 2,000 years this remarkable man and his remarkable career, and this remarkable work of philosophy have occupied a prominent place in the history and culture of China and in the mentality of its people. The present book introduces the life ofConfucius and the main ideas of the Analects. It is divided into seven chaptersdealing respectively with the sage's life story, and his ideas on education,rationality and emotion, self-restraint and the restoration of the Rites, benevolence, governing by non-action and the gentleman
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The Life of Confucius
1. Reaching the Summit of His Career
2. Journeying Through the Stales
3. The Final Years
4. Why Didn't Confucius Hand Down His Own Writings?
5. His Important Contributions to Thought
6. Confucius' Political Ideas
Chapter 2 Confucius' Concept of Education
1. Education for All and Tailored Instruction
2. Lifelong Education
3. Teaching and Learning Go Hand-in-hand
4. Preaching and Education for a Better World
5. Confucius' Famous Disciples
Chapter 3 Ethics and Kinship Ties
1. Filial Piety and Fraternal Affection
2. Forming Friendships
3. The Golden Mean
Chapter 4 Exercising Self-restraint and Restoring the Rites
1. Breaking Away from the Fetters of the Rites of Zhou
2. Inheriting and Developing the Various Kinds of Ceremony
Chapter 5 Benevolence
1. Benevolence Means Love for Others
2. How Does One Practice True Benevolence?
3. Benevolence in the Political Domain
4. The Meaning of Benevolent Rule
Chapter 6 Government by Non-action
1. The Meaning of Government by Non-action
2. Protecting the Interests of the People
3. Not Exceeding the Realm of the Way and Virtue
Chapter 7 The Gentleman
1. Breaking Free from the Bonds of Status
2. Unity of Thought and Action
3. The Difference between the Gentleman and the Petty Man
4. Magnanimity
5. Sincerity
6. Overcoming Weaknesses
7. Self-reflection
8. Self-cultivation
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Because Confucius was descended from aristocrats it was quite natural for him to want to restore the glory of his family. But he also quite clearly recognized that "to do everything, including serving one's lord, completel yaccording to the Rites of Zhou might be regarded by some people as behaving in an obsequious fashion." When Confucius was touring other states propagating his doctrine of government he encountered opposition not only from the grandees of those states but also sometimes from the common people. This was because the grandees were all harboring the ambition of becoming the ruler, and the rulers were all hankering after the position of hegemon of the feudal lords. As for the common people, a return to the original Zhou Dynasty system seemed to them to mean a return to slavery.That is why Confucius was rebuffed everywhere he went. 
After this experience, Confucius abandoned his wholehearted pursuit of the Rites of Zhou. For one thing, from the traditional notion of protocol he discard the dross, winnowed out the essence and combined it with practi-cality, and simplified the basis of his theory of ceremony and propriety,coming up with a notion of "benevolence and love," and promoting benevo-lent government. When Lin Fang asked him what the root of the Rites was,Confucius answered, "This is a very important question. In a nutshell, we can say that in general matters frugality is better than extravagance, and that at funerals a sincerely grieving heart is better than punctilious formality." It seems that Confucius did not give a straight answer to this question.
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