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Lecture

Confucius and the cultivation of self

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Department
Political Science
Course
POL200Y1
Professor
Rebecca Kingston
Semester
Fall

Description
Political Theory: Week 10 J November 17 , 2010 th Confucius and the cultivation of the self 1. Introduction - Confucius writing at a time of intense conflict, compare to Machiavelli - Confucius, lack of political stability in what we now call mainland China, Confucius travelled around parts of China looking for ways in which he could serve in public office, returned to state of Lu and began to teach own philosophy - Confucius conversed with a wide cross-section of humanity on his travels - Discussed a wide variety of topics, his manner in speaking to individuals was not like ^} Z7]L[ZZ}o}2] oKZo}}l]L2} }LZ]ZL ]Z}]L }LZ]ZL ]Z7 was seeking some kernel of truth - Confucius transmits truths of life from experience, vision was to a past state rather than looking forward - Confucius did not want his words to end up as rules 2. Confucian self-cultivation - Through the lens of ethics as a way to develop oneself as the vision of the good: o Plato has vision of highest culmination of ethics in cultivation of the intellect, the philosopher is highest being you can be Can be facilitated by being in the right type of regime o Aristotle has a more varied story, intellect has its part but part of a larger whole, intellectual virtue and moral virtue things that are separate, need cultivation of character for moral virtue and cultivation of wisdom or intellect Facilitated by the right form of regime Through notion that man by nature being a political animal, closer relation to the political in understanding of ethics in the political community o In contrast, Confucian ideal is the cultivation of the self in the line of a visible standard rather than a theoretical one, not thinking of a standard of truth sitting outside of reality, rather we find a model of self-fulfillment in seeking the best examples in humanity around us Much more practical than idealistic standards Confucian exercise in finding the standard of goodness is deepening our understanding of the here and now rather than going through a conceptual exercise This understanding of a good human being, the regulative notion of the gentleman, equivalent to man of virtue in Aristotle or philosopher, can happen in any form of regime, could be accessible to all and not just the few, important difference between Confucius and presuppositions of the Greeks, suggest that human beings by nature of being born have certain advantages www.notesolution.com
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