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The Art of Chinese PhilosophyEight Classical Texts and How to Read Them$
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Paul Goldin

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691200798

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691200798.001.0001

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The Analects of Confucius

The Analects of Confucius

(p.31) Chapter Two The Analects of Confucius
The Art of Chinese Philosophy

Paul R. Goldin

Princeton University Press

This chapter turns to the challenges of reading the Analects of Confucius. Of his life and heritage there are only the barest of details, which eager hands eventually embellished incredibly. However, Confucius' importance lies not in the details of his life, but in the philosophy that he left behind. A modern reader of Confucius, then, is faced with this task: using the Analects and perhaps a handful of other early texts, none of which was written by Confucius himself, to reconstruct the philosophy of a master who would have preferred to teach you personally. Fortunately, as this chapter shows, a careful reading of the Analects reveals a unique and consistent philosophical attitude. Confucius himself insists twice that although his teachings may appear disparate, there is “one thing with which to string [everything] together.”

Keywords:   Confucius, Analects, Analects of Confucius, Confucian philosophy, Confucianism

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