The Influence of Confucius on Chinese Culture

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As Confucius' philosophy still remains in the heart of many Chinese people, his images of

the greatest professional teacher of all time, the greatest philosopher in Chinese history and his

influence toward the future and the past 2000 years of Chinese civilization has made his thought

the essence of the Chinese culture. He always said the importance of teaching could change the

future of the civilization. And he also encouraged his students to explore the various things to

learn, but be very selective and careful. The purpose of Confucius' teaching was practical and

designed to help each person improve his character and conduct, and perhaps become prepared

for an official position in the court. According to one passage in the Analects, Confucius taught

four things: culture, conduct, loyalty, and truthfulness.1

Culture consisted of literature and music. Confucius suggested the value of each: "Let a man be

stimulated by poetry, established in character by the rules of propriety, and perfected by music. “

These pursuits were means by which one may achieve the higher ideal of following the Way.”2

The gentleman extensively studies literature and restrains himself with the rules of propriety. Thus he

will not violate the Way. "3 And also " Set your heart upon the Way. Support yourself by its virtue.

Rely on goodness. Find recreation in the arts."4 Confucius put the moral duties before the arts as

the essential activities of the gentleman. "A young man's duty is to behave well to his parents at

home and to in love to all, and to cultivate the friendship of the good. If, when all that is done, he

has any energy to spare, then let him study the cultural arts."5

Confucius taught many topics around these subjects, but the most importance of these is the

propriety, ritual and the Way of being a Gentleman. From these to achieve the Jen. Confucius had

one overwhelming message: if we are to achieve a state of orderliness and peace, we need to

return to traditional values of virtue. These values are based entirely on one concept: Jen, which is

best, translated as "humaneness." This humaneness is a relatively strange concept to Western

people, because it is not primarily a practicable virtue. The rules of propriety offered a code of

accepted behaviour that demonstrated to themselves and others tha...

... middle of paper ...

...ragement of personality development will never be

forget. As the Chinese people and the world stepping into the next millennium, Confucius will be

in the minds of many people, as they think of the greatest teacher in Chinese history.



1. Analects 7.24 Cf. A. Waley, The Analects of Confucius (London, 1938)

2. 2. Analects 8.8

3. Analects 6.25

4. 4. Analects 7.6

5. 5. Analects 1.6

6. 6. Analects 1.12

7. 7. Analects 8.2

8. 8. Analects 3.4

9. Analects 6.16

10. Analects 3.18

11. Analects 13.5

12. Analects 13.13

13. Analects 15.32

14. Analects 8.13

15. Analects 12.19

16. Analects 14.8

17. Analects 1.5

18. Analects 17.23

19. Analects 2.15

20. Analects 9.24

21. Analects 16.4

22. Analects 16.5

23. Analects 3.3 Confucius, Raymond Dawson (Oxford University Press, 1981)

24. Analects 12.1 Confucius, Raymond Dawson (Oxford University Press, 1981)

25. Analects 17.9

26. Analects 3.23

27. Lin Yutang, Wisdom of Confucius, p.81-82

28. 28. Ibid. p.82

29. 29. Ibid. p.83

30. 30. Ibid. p.67-68

31. Hsu, Cho-Yun, Ancient China in Transition p.161,163

32. 32. Analects 12.4

33. 33. Analects 16.7

34. 34. Analects 16.10

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