Analects Legal

According to Ban Gu, who writes in the Book of Han, the Analects appeared as individual records kept by Confucius` disciples about conversations between the Master and them, which then took place after Confucius` death in 479 BC. Collected by the students and worked together. The work is therefore entitled Lunyu and means « edited conversations » or « chosen discourses » (i.e. analects). [2] [3] This is largely the traditional depiction of the creation of the work, which has been accepted by later generations of scholars, for example, the neo-Confucian scholar of the Song Dynasty, Zhu Xi, explained that analects are the archives of students of the first and second generation of Confucius. [4] His primary purpose in the education of his disciples was to produce ethically well-educated men who carry themselves with gravity, speak correctly, and demonstrate perfect integrity in all things (Analects 12:11; see also 13.3). He was willing to teach anyone, regardless of their social class, as long as he was sincere, zealous, and tireless in learning (Analects 7:7; 15:38). He is traditionally credited with teaching three thousand students, although only seventy of them mastered what he taught. He taught practical skills, but considered self-cultivation to be his most important subject. [30] Master said, « The study of strange teachings is indeed harmful! » Confucius believed that the social chaos of his time was largely due to the fact that the Chinese ruling elite sought and claimed titles of which it was unworthy. When the ruler of the great state Qi Confucius asked about the principles of good government, Confucius replied, « Good government consists in the fact that the ruler is a ruler, the minister is a minister, the father a father, and the son a son » (Analect 12:11).

There are very few reliable sources on Confucius apart from that of the analects. The main biography available to historians is contained in Sima Qian`s Shiji, but because the Shiji contains a large amount of (perhaps legendary) material that is not confirmed by existing sources, the biographical material on Confucius found in the Analects makes the Analects arguably the most reliable source of biographical information about Confucius. [24] Confucius saw himself as a « transmitter » of social and political traditions dating back to the early Zhou Dynasty (c. 1000-800 BC). Chr.) and claimed that nothing had come into being (Analects 7:1), but that Confucius` social and political ideals were not popular in his day. [25] He Yan`s comment was eventually supplanted by Zhu Xi`s comment as the definitive standard commentary. Zhu Xi`s work also gathered commentary from earlier scholars (mainly from the Song Dynasty) as well as his own interpretations. Zhu`s work took place against the backdrop of a period of renewed interest in Confucian studies, during which Chinese scholars were interested in producing a single « proper » intellectual orthodoxy that would « save » Chinese traditions and protect them from foreign influences, and in which scholars were increasingly interested in metaphysical speculation. [22] Chapters 3 to 9 are perhaps the oldest of the analects. [40] Mang I asked what childlike piety was.

Master said, « It does not mean disobedience. » For Confucius, cultivating ren meant devaluing oneself through modesty, while avoiding elaborate discourses and complacent manners that would give a false impression of one`s own character (Analects 1:3). Confucius said that those who had cultivated Ren could be distinguished by being « simple in the manner and slow of the language. » He believed that people could cultivate their sense of Ren by applying the reverse golden rule: « Don`t do to others what you don`t want to do to yourself »; « A man with Ren who wants to settle helps others to establish themselves; Wanting to follow oneself helps others succeed » (Analectus 12:2; 6:28). [25] The Dingzhou analects were damaged in a fire shortly after their burial during the Han Dynasty. It was damaged in an earthquake shortly after its recovery, and the surviving text is almost half the size of the preserved text of the analects. Among the preserved sections, the Dingzhou analects are shorter than the preserved analects, suggesting that the text of the analects was still expanding when the Dingzhou analects were buried. There were indications that « additions » to the manuscript could have been made after its completion, suggesting that the author may have read at least one other version of the analects and added « additional » material for completeness. [16] In these incipits, many passages in the analects begin with the Ziyue formula, « The Master said, » but without punctuation marks in classical Chinese, this does not confirm whether the following is a direct quotation from Confucius` actual statements, or simply as « Master said that, » and Confucius` paraphrase of analect compilers must be understood. [37] Master said, « Learning without thinking is a wasted job; Thinking without learning is dangerous. In his commentary, Zhu went to great lengths to interpret the analects using theories elaborated in the other four books, which He Yan had not done. Zhu tried to give additional coherence and unity to the message of the Analects by showing that the individual books of the Confucian canon gave meaning to the whole, just as the entire canon gave meaning to its parts.

In his preface, Zhu Xi explained: « The Analects and Mencius are the most important works for students who […] The words of the analects are all-encompassing; What they teach is nothing but the essence of preserving the spirit and culture of one`s own nature. [23] Master said, « If a person continues to cultivate his old knowledge in order to constantly acquire new knowledge, he can be a teacher of others. » « Seeing what`s right and not doing it is a lack of courage. » The political importance and popularity of Confucius and Confucianism increased throughout the Han Dynasty, and by the Eastern Han, the analects of schoolchildren and all those seeking literacy were widely read and often read before the Five Classics themselves. During the Eastern Han Dynasty, the heir to the throne received a tutor who taught him analects. The growing importance of analects was recognized when the five classics were expanded to include the « seven classics »: the five classics plus the analects and classics of childish piety, and its status as one of the central words of Confucianism continued to grow until the end of the Song Dynasty (960-1279), when it was identified and promoted by Zhu Xi as one of the four books, and generally as more revealing than the five older classics. [18] Master said, « If the people are guided by laws and uniformity seeks to be given to them through punishment, they will try to avoid punishment, but they have no sense of shame. If they are guided by virtue and uniformity strives to be given to them by the rules of decency, they will feel ashamed and, moreover, will become good. The analysis of the need to increase the behaviour of public servants to reflect how they identify and describe themselves is called the correction of names, and he explained that the correction of names should be the first responsibility of a leader when taking office (Analects 13.3). Confucius believed that because the ruler was the model for all those under him in society, the correction of names had to begin with the ruler and that after that, others would change to imitate him (Analects 12:19). [29] The Master said, « There are three hundred pieces in the Book of Poetry, but the purpose of each of them can be embraced in a single sentence, `Have no corrupt thoughts.` Chapter 10 provides detailed descriptions of Confucius` behavior during various daily activities.

Voltaire and Ezra Pound believed that this chapter showed how Confucius was a mere human being. Simon Leys, who recently translated the analects into English and French, said the book may have been the first in human history to describe the life of an individual and historical character. Elias Canetti wrote: « The analects of Confucius are the oldest complete intellectual and spiritual portrait of a man. It looks like a modern book; Everything it contains, and in fact everything it lacks, is important. [32] Later Confucian philosophers have stated that the quality of having a friendly manner, similar to the English words « humane, » « altruistic, » or « benevolent, » but of the sixty cases in which Confucius is discussed in the analects, very few have these later meanings.