Confucius and Plato

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Confucius and Plato
Editor Ken Wolf, at the beginning of the essay Confucius and Plato: A Few Really Good People, poses the question: “What is the best way to create a strong society?” (Wolf 25) It was surprising to a novice student of philosophy how similar the ideas of the ancient Chinese sage Confucius and famous Greek philosopher Plato were. Although, Confucius and Plato both made major contributions to the development of society, they showed both similarities and differences in these three subjects: ruling class, education, and faith in humanity. Confucius and Plato both believed virtue and intelligence were key components to creating a strong society. Confucius thought anyone who has been educated had the capability to develop into a ruler. Whereas Plato assumed anyone could be educated, but only a few, those in the ruling class had the ability to reason and thus were qualified to rule. In addition, Plato gave credence to the idea of being born into the ruling class, that the quality to reason was an inherited quality. Confucius and Plato were both strong believers that order was another main factor in a strong society. Although they both had laws to maintain the order, Plato had less faith in people in general to behave in a civilized manner. Both Confucius and Plato were in favor of education and were teachers themselves. Confucius’s followers were the ones who wrote the Analects, which talked about how civilization depends on “humanity” and “propriety”. Plato actually wrote The Republic which talked about his ideal “philosopher-king”. Plato established the Academy, which taught principles of ethics and government, for 900 years. Confucius attempted to teach the ruler to become a better person, but failed. The concepts put forth by Confucius and Plato begin to differ more when faith in humanity comes into play. Confucius and Plato both wanted to think there was good in everyone, but Confucius believed more in a “…society in which...
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