Who was confucius ?

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On our partner: the philosophy of the four paths

Who was Confucius? Confucius is the Latinized form of Kong Fuzi, Master Kong. This name was given to this major figure in Chinese thought by its translators, Jesuit missionaries in China at present XVI th and XVII th centuries. Among the few other Chinese thinkers whose name was thus transformed include Meng Tzu became Mencius and Mo Tzu translated Mocius. 

Confucius lived in the VI th and V th centuries BC. JC (551-479). It is contemporary of the Presocratics. At the same time emerges everywhere wisdom speech, spirituality and philosophy: the Buddha in India, the Hebrew culture in the Middle East, the Presocratics in Greece.

Can we talk about Confucius philosophy? If the Chinese thought, including that of Confucius do not correspond to the concerns of European academic philosophers of the XVIII th and XIX th centuries, it is nevertheless good philosophy in that it relates to the nature of man and his place in the cosmic order and social order. It would be wrong to regard Confucius as the father of Chinese philosophy and especially to compare its place in Chinese thought that the Presocratics in Greek thought.

Why read the interviews , one of his major works, often disconcerting experience? The interviews consist of short aphorisms in small dialogues leading to empirical advice. The absence of explicit doctrine of general application can be confusing. Most interviews begin with the said master phrases followed by direct speech. It is assumed that the master is Confucius schools but some say it could be one of many other masters of China’s pre-imperial antiquity, that is to say at the time that preceded the creation the first centralized empire in 221 BC. JC.

How she has the time of Confucius a role in the development of his thought? Confucius lived in a period of change. He regrets a golden age that is at the foundation of the Chou dynasty around the year 1000 bC The Chou derived their legitimacy from a mandate of heaven which they prevailed, a Heavenly decree guarantees a smooth running of the company. This mandate implies that a sovereign was not to serve itself but serve society. Confucius adheres to this speech at a time when the power of the Chou disintegrates under the pressure of vassalages who harbor rule projects. The late Chou lead to the so-called period of the Warring States, during which, from the end of the V th century to the early IIIth century, principalities are in permanent war to establish their hegemony. Vassalage Qin finally unify China by establishing there the first centralized empire. 

This disintegration is mentioned several times in interviews which speaks of usurpation of power. Confucius argues that for that the way reign under heaven should that power be held by one who holds legitimacy of a mandate from heaven. The path, or the Tao meaning the way, corresponds to concepts and rules of conduct, allowing life to flourish harmoniously. Confucius defends Tao founding kings of the Chou dynasty. If power is usurped by vassals, the path should not reign under heavenand disorder takes place, chaos both human, political and cosmic. The order forbids that Confucius is not that of an authoritarian state practicing strict political control of the social body but an organization that makes life possible through generations. The ancient Chinese word for order is a quasi-medical term that describes the harmonious working condition of a living organism. Confucian hierarchy must be understood in this sense: one head and individuals who take their role by participating in the life of society conceived as an organic unity.

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