World Cultures Midterm: Confucius Analects

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ANALECTS OF CONFUCIUS: Confucius' program of study envisions some kind of political or social service. The study he encourages has two aspects: intellectual development and character building, in an effort to make an ideal role model that he calls the junzi. Construct a career path for Confucius' junzi indicating his proper roles in society.

The path of the Confucian Junzi is interminable and strenuous. It is a life only for the hard working and self-reflective. “The sage and the man of perfect virtue;—how dare I rank myself with them? It may simply be said of me, that I strive to be one such without satiety”(7.33); even the teacher of the ways of the Junzi knows that the path being a Junzi is never ending and that he has much more to learn. Confucius encourages his students to devote their lives to social and public service. He strives to develop his students intellectually and morally; to attain the wisdom and the virtue of a Junzi through practice of proper social conduct and exercise of traditional rituals.

A person plays many roles in a lifetime and for every role comes different authorities and responsibilities. The main roles of a Confucian Junzi’s life are that of a student, son, and a attendant to the state/society. The first job of a Junzi is to be a filial son. The Junzi should attend to his elders, respect his parents wishes and earnestly follow the way path of his father: “ If the son for three years does not alter from the way of his father, he may be called filial”(4.20). If he possesses the position as the head of the family, the Junzi should regulate his home through example of virtue and benevolence. Family organization is the basis for the structure of the state and the government—one who cannot preside over a family is a poor leader and cannot regulate a country.

A Junzi need not come for a wealthy home or a family of noble decent; Confucius did not discriminate between those rich or poor—he took all those willing to learn and...
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