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Philosophies Of Confucius

by Javed Pasha
Philosophies Of Confucius

Philosophies Of Confucius

The philosophies of Confucius are based on traditional values. It is based on the principle of moderation and avoiding extremes. As all things in the world are two-sided, it suggests that nothing is absolutely good or bad, only a matter of perspective.


Confucian Political Philosophy

Confucius, who lived from 551 B.C. to 479 B.C., was a Chinese thinker who is credited with the founding of Confucianism, a school of thought that advocates for reverence for ancestors, harmony within society and gentleness in leadership.

Confucius’s ideas have had a big impact on Chinese history and culture, but they also form the basis of Confucian political philosophy, which has played a role in politics throughout East Asia.


The Origins Of Confucian Political Philosophy

Historians recognize two periods of Confucius’s life: his youth and middle age. In his youth, he served as a minor official in the state of Lu. When he left office at the age of 50, he traveled around China offering advice to rulers as a kind of freelance consultant and teacher.

During this period, he wrote most of The Analects, an early collection of his teachings that formed the basis for later interpretations by scholars such as Mencius and Xunzi.

The Analects contains many teachings about how rulers should behave. Some of these are practical rules about how to run the government; others are abstract moral lessons about how rulers should act toward their subjects and each other.


Confucius Education Philosophy

One of Confucius education philosophy is “Teach students according to their aptitude.”

Confucius understood that every student is different. Some are quick in grasping things, some are slow and some have different abilities and interests. Therefore, he emphasized that teachers should teach according to the aptitude of the students.

Confucius’ educational philosophy is based on the notion that one should study as a way of achieving self-improvement and moral uprightness, which are qualities highly valued in Chinese society.

The educational system he developed was based on his personal beliefs and values. Some of these ideas have become the backbone of education in China.

Philosophies Of Confucius


Confucius The Way Of Life Philosophy

Confucius believed that in order to be a good person you must first try to understand the importance of what it is to be human.

He believed in the way of life called Jen which means virtue, goodness and human heartedness. Confucius said that he who practises Jen will be a good person and he who practises Jen will do good things.

Confucius saw people as naturally inclined towards goodness but this was often smothered by society and the world around us. He thought that if we could rediscover our inner goodness then we would all become moral beings.

This could be achieved through education, self-cultivation and following the example of worthy role models. So for Confucius learning was not just about passing exams; it was about becoming a better person.


Confucius Social Values Philosophy

If we want to be happy, we need to find a friend who shares our values. This is the root of social happiness. We also need a spouse and a family that shares our values.

In addition, we need to have a job that fits with our values. Finally, we need to live in a society that shares our values. If any of these things are missing, we will be unhappy, no matter how rich or beautiful we are.

The key is not beauty or money, but harmony. A beautiful woman is only attractive if she is virtuous; otherwise she is just a pretty face. Likewise, money is only desirable if it allows us to help others and improve society; otherwise it has no value at all.

Confucius said: “A gentleman is like the sun at midday, he shines everywhere.” The true gentleman acts for the good of society as a whole, rather than for his own personal gain.

He does not seek fame or fortune; instead he seeks harmony and balance in himself and his community.

Confucius also said: “A gentleman finds beauty in virtue.” A virtuous person is someone who understands what it means to be human and behaves accordingly. This kind of person has nothing to hide from anyone else; when the sun rises.


Confucius Ritual Psychology Philosophy

Confucianism represents the philosophical basis of much of Chinese culture, including state rituals, traditional types of marriage and social relationships between older and younger people.

Confucius’ teachings may be found in the Analects of Confucius, a book compiled many years after his death.

Confucius taught that there were essentially two paths to follow in one’s life; the path of ren and the path of li. The path of ren is based on concern for others — it is empathetic, generous, honest and trustworthy.

The path of li is based on following rituals or rules to achieve harmony with those around you. Many scholars believe that the two paths are meant to complement each other; one cannot exist without the other.


Confucius Character Formation Philosophy

Confucius believed in building up a state with a body of people having good moral characters, who could be good administrators, soldiers and farmers.

Confucius taught that the major function of education was to develop man’s moral nature. He thought that human qualities were more important than knowledge.

According to him, the ultimate aim of education should be to build up a complete man with sound character and good personality.

The Chinese educational system is based on the philosophy of Confucius who believed that education should be lifelong experience and it should not be limited within the four walls of classroom.

Confucius was the originator of a character formation philosophy in which he emphasized self-cultivation as the foundation of personal morality and social order.

It is a philosophy that aims to develop excellence without necessarily emphasizing virtue, though it was later blended with a virtue ethics tradition by his followers.

Confucius believed that if we are to create an orderly society, its members must be perceived as noble characters. The concept of nobility is defined as those qualities of character and behavior that meet with general approval in the society.

In the Analects, Confucius claimed, “To give one’s self earnestly to the duties due to men and, while respecting spiritual beings, to keep aloof from them may be called wisdom.” In other words, Confucius’ priority was to cultivate himself as a moral exemplar

. He believed that if he could become such an example, others would follow in his footsteps. He further held that if such moral exemplars could be produced then society would become orderly. Confucian ethics is essentially a system of filial piety or loyalty serving the needs of others.


Confucius The Family And The State Philosophy

Confucius’ teachings were based on the idea that all people are fundamentally good and that we can restore morality to society by teaching individuals to pursue virtue through education, self-cultivation and proper behavior.

He believed in Five Cardinal Relationships: ruler/subject; father/son; husband/wife; older brother/younger brother; friend/friend. By instructing people in their proper roles within these relationships, Confucius thought it would be possible to create an ideal society based on harmony.

His work was extremely influential in Chinese history. In fact, Confucianism became the official state philosophy of China during the Han Dynasty (202 BCE-220 CE) and remained so until it was replaced by Communism


Books By Confucius

The Book of Rites (Liji) The Book of Rites is a collection of texts describing the social forms, administration, and ceremonial rites of the Zhou dynasty as they were understood.

The Book of Music (Yueji) The Book of Music is a chapter from the Book of Rites which describes ancient music or performing arts. It consists of three parts: Dao (道), Yi (儀), and Song (誦).

The first quotes some other works, the second cites some lyrics, and the third is divided into two parts: one describing nature and the other citing lyrics.


 Achievements Of Confucius

During his lifetime, Confucius was not famous as a philosopher or teacher but was respected as a good administrator and as an ideal son, husband and father.

Even when he was very old, he continued to travel from place to place preaching his ideas and teaching young people how they should behave in society.

  1. Confucius was born in a family of Zou clan in 551 BC. His real name was Kong Qiu and he was also known as Kong Fuzi.


  1. Confucius was the first teacher who prioritized ethics and moral education as the basis of teaching. He is counted among the most influential individuals in human history and his teachings have been followed till this day by millions of people.


  1. Confucius helped to make a strong connection between political power and moral values by combining them together and he taught that political power should be attained through virtue, not force or violence.


  1. Confucius believed that the virtues of rulership were embodied in the Nine cardinal virtues: benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, trustworthiness, loyalty, courage, steadfastness and filial piety.


  1. During his lifetime, he worked as a teacher in various parts of China and also worked as minister under various Chinese rulers including Duke Ai of Lu (Lu Ai Gong), King Kaolie of Lu (Le Guo Hu) and King Xuan(Xuan Wang). His teachings emphasized on personal morality and respect for elders and superiors.

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