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Lecture 2

PHL237H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Universalizability, Zhong You, Bu Shang

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Vincent Shen

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Classical Confucianism: 3 Phases
First phase: Confucius (551-479BCE), one of the ru, taught largest number of students (3000).
Second Phase: From Zisi  (493-406 BCE) to Mencius  (371-289BCE). (Grandson of
Confucius) 󱈢 -- 
Third Phase: Xunzi (298-238BCE) 󳮻
Confucianism or Rujia 儒家
Confucianism, thus called in the West, means literally the school of thought and practice that were
founded by Confucius. However, in Chinese, it is called Rujia 儒家, a term first used by the Grand
Historian Sima Qian司馬遷 in 100BC., after the end of Classical Confucianism.
Mentioned by Sima Qian in 󴉅
Ru (), those who served in Spring and Autumn 󲅍 (722-481BCE) as middle range officers
working in the areas of education and public rites. Later, they lost their office and earned their
living as teacher of rites and ritual coordinator. They taught the six arts: ritual, music, arching,
driving, writing and calculating. (Comparable to the seven art from the Middle ages and the
Renaissance period)
Decentralization of the power of the Ru people
󰼟 vs 
Confucius (551-479BCE)
Kong Qiu 孔丘, also known as Zhongni 仲尼.Confucius” is the latinization of Kong Fuzi 孔夫
(Master Kong). Born in 551 BCE in the state of Lu in a noble family that fled from the state of
Sung, he was orphaned at the age of three. Confucius’s early life was humble, while he made great
effort to learn. Confucius organized his teaching materials into six parts: Book of Poetry, Book of
Documents, Books of Rites, Book of Changes, Book of Music, Annals of Spring and Autumn, later
named the “Six Classics.”  (Now only Five, Book of Music lost) His philosophy laid the
philosophical foundation of li. 󳌷󲬒󱑕󰼟 -  -- 󳊡
󰲳  󲘰
Image of Confucius by Wu Daozi (ca.720-60)
The Analects
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Lunyu 論語(Analects): Compiled conversations of Confucius with disciples and visitors recorded
by his disciples and their followers.
“Zizhang asked about proper conduct. The Master replied, “Make good your words, and be earnest
and respectful in your deeds, …” …Zizhang wrote the words down on his sash.” (Analects 15.6 )
Confucius on himself
When I was young, I was in humble circumstances, and therefore I acquired much ability to do the
simple thing of humble folk. (Analects, 9.6)
At fifteen my mind was set on learning. At thirty I took my stand; at forty I came to be free from
perplexities; at fifty, I realized the Mandate of Heaven; at sixty, my ears are at ease with whatever I
heard; at seventy, I could follow my heart’s desires without overstepping the boundaries.(2.4)
Study Book of Changes - 70 "󵚟
Focus: Self and Many Others
The Master said, “To learn, and at due times to practice what one has learned, is that not also a
pleasure? To have classmates/friends (peng) come from afar, is it not also a joy? To go
unrecognized, yet without being embittered, is that not also to be a junzi?” (Analects 1.1)
The Master said, “ A young man is to be filial within his family and respectful outside. He is to be
earnest and faithful, overflowing in his love for people and intimate with who are humane. If after
such practice he has strength to spare, he may use it in the study of culture.(1.6)
Beginning relationship: Filial Piety
Filial Piety: a virtue of “being good to one’s parents” (善於父母為孝)[the Er Ya 爾雅] or those
who have raised one up, so as to maintain a loving and respectful relation to them.
You Zi said, “A Junzi (superior man) works on the beginning/root. When the beginning/
root is established, the Way is rising. Indeed, filial piety and brotherly love are the root.
Reciprocity of love as internal reason of filial piety
Zaiwo: If for three years the junzi doesn’t perform the rites and music, these will fall into neglect.
The old grain will have been exhausted; the new grain will have sprung up. A year is enough.
Confucius: If you feel at ease, then do it. But a junzi in mourning feels no pleasure in eating, music
and dwelling…Only when a child is three years old does it leave its parents’ arms.(17.21)
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