Confucius (trans. Edward Slingerland)
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“This edition is really good at showing both the constructed-ness of the original Analects and the vast exegetical machine that has driven the Chinese philosophical tradition through the centuries.” Read more...
Andrew Hui, Literary Scholar
“He believed one of our dangers is that we fall into ruts that are defined by the world around us.” Read more...
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Michael Puett, Historian
“It’s not written by Confucius himself. It is more a collection of anecdotes of how he engaged his students, almost in dialogue form. And in them, he comes off as a very charming, humorous figure, not at all dogmatic and very modern. I think that’s partly why he’s been so influential. There’s this view that Confucius was a conformist, but that’s partly because of the way Confucianism has been misused throughout Chinese history…The Confucians are not in favour of conformity at all. Indeed one of the most famous sayings from the Analects is: ‘Exemplary persons should pursue harmony but not conformity.’ Harmony really is this idea that you have differences – explained by metaphors like: very tasty dishes composed of many different ingredients that are bland on their own but together they combine to form this delicious dish; or else music, where you have one instrument that sounds OK on its own but when it’s combined with other instruments it produces a beautiful harmony. Confucius himself, if you look at his model as an educator, very much encouraged a constant questioning and constant self-improvement and definitely not a conformist attitude to learning. Rather the opposite I’d say.” Read more...
Daniel A. Bell, Philosopher