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Affirmative Action

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Confucius and Confucianism-

Books related to Confucius and Confucianism-

Confucius and Confucianism-


Confucius was believed to have been born in 551 BC., in the state

of Lu, known today as the Shandong province. His parents, who died

while he was a child, named him Kong Qui. Confucius was derived from

the Latin word Kongfuzi which means Great Master Kong. Confucius was

the most influential and respected philosopher in Chinese history.

His ideas were the single strongest influence on Chinese society from

around 100 BC. to the AD. 1900's. The Chinese government made his

ideas the official state philosophy and many nearby countries honored

his beliefs.

Confucius wanted to gain the position as an adviser to a wise

ruler, but he failed. He hoped to do this in order to be able to

employ his ideas for reforming society. If it wasn't for the

disciples of Confucius his teachings would have never been spread

around China, and he would have never been made known. His teachings

were never written down by him, but his conversations and sayings were

written down by his disciples in the analects.


Confucianism was the single most important thing in Chinese life.

It affected everything in China; education, government, and

attitudes toward behavior in public and private life. Confucianism is

not a religion, but it is more a philosophy and a guide to morality

and good government. At the time Confucius was born, China was in a

constant state of war, and rapid political change altered the

structure of Chinese society so much that people no longer respected

the established behavioral guidelines. Confucius stated that the ideal

person was one of good moral character. The ideal person was also

truly reverent in worship and sincerely respected his father and his

ruler. He was expected to think for himself, guided by definite rules

of conduct. As Confucius said, he was expected to take "as much

trouble to discover what was right as lesser men take to discover what

will pay". Confucius believed that this type of behavior by rulers

had a greater effect on the people than did laws or codes of

punishment. So when these types of people were rulers, their moral

example would inspire the people to lead good lives.

Confucius died sometime around 479 B.C., and his philosophy was

not very well known. If it weren't for his disciples his ideas would

probably still be unknown. Confucius never wrote anything down

himself; his disciples wrote all of his sayings down in a collection

of books called the Analects. These contain all that modern day man

knows about Confucius.

There existed two important Confucian philosophers-Mencius

(390-305 BC) and Xunzi (mid 200's B.C.). They held beliefs similar

to Confucius but



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