The Complete Confucius: The Analects, The Doctrine Of The Mean, and The Great Learning with an Introduction by Nicholas Tamblyn
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Confucius is one of our very best thinkers, a model for living a self-aware and virtuous life. "The Complete Confucius: The Analects, The Doctrine Of The Mean, and The Great Learning," brings together the most important Confucian texts with an introduction by Nicholas Tamblyn, and is part of The Essential Series by Golding Books.
Confucius lived from 551–479 BC. The principles he espoused largely reflected the values and traditions in China at the time. Rather than create a formal theory, Confucius desired that his disciples study, learning and mastering the classic older texts, and affirmed that the superior person seeks and loves learning for the sake of learning, and righteousness for the sake of righteousness.
Confucianism is the cornerstone of Eastern philosophy and religion (and, similarly, Chinese and Asian philosophy and their subsequent vital influence on Western philosophy). It is a key part of religious studies and in developing an understanding of classical philosophy and its impact on modern philosophy. The sayings of Confucius (and discussions with his disciples) provide wisdom for those exploring religion and philosophy, but also in related areas such as spirituality, meditation, politics, and one's personal and public duties in society.
A NOTE ON THE ANALECTS.—The Analects are a compilation of speeches by and conversations between Confucius and his disciples. Believed to have been written during China's Warring States period (475 BC–221 BC), and then finalized during the mid-Han dynasty (206 BC–220 AD), it is a collection of sayings and ideas that have a foremost position in the history and study of philosophy across the world.
A NOTE ON THE DOCTRINE OF THE MEAN.—From The Book of Rites, this chapter known as The Doctrine of the Mean is attributed to Confucius' only grandson, Zisi (also known as Kong Ji). Its purpose is to show how the golden way is the means to gain perfect virtue, and that following the heavenly instructions of the Way will lead to the virtuous path trodden by others before, including Confucius. The phrase "doctrine of the mean" ("zhōng yōng") first occurs in Chapter 6 of The Analects; its definition is not expanded on there, but Zisi's text seeks to examine its meaning in greater detail.
A NOTE ON THE GREAT LEARNING.—Also one chapter in The Book of Rites, this writing is attributed to Confucius. In that book, his writing is accompanied by nine commentary chapters by his disciple Zeng Zi. The Great Learning explores, in beautiful and scriptural-sounding language, the linked themes of self-cultivation, enquiry and examination, and their impacts upon leadership and government. Each of the texts in this book—with Mencius, the collected conversations of that scholar with various kings—together comprise the four of the Four Books and Five Classics of Confucianism written in China before 300 BC.
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