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A Theory of the AphorismFrom Confucius to Twitter$
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Andrew Hui

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691188959

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691188959.001.0001

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Confucius

Confucius

The Master Wishes to be Silent

Chapter:
(p.23) 1 Confucius
Source:
A Theory of the Aphorism
Author(s):

Andrew Hui

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691188959.003.0002

This chapter discusses how the Analects of Confucius is an assemblage of the master's sayings that, while not offering a systematic account of the good, virtue, or just governance, nevertheless propelled the commentarial tradition of China that sought to codify it. The conversations of Confucius are “infinite” in the sense that they have elicited inexhaustible commentary from the time of their compilation. At the same time, the conversations of Confucius are “discontinuous” because of their fragmentary nature: the material upon which they were written—bamboo and silk—contains the merest traces of the original scene of instruction; the received arrangement of individual sayings can be said to be only loosely organized at best.

Keywords:   Analects, Confucius, sayings, conversations, China, commentary

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