Confucius on Humanity

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Confucius on Humanity ABSTRACT: The basic conception of Confucius' philosophy is ren, i.e., humanity, while humanity is at the same time the leitmotiv of our epoch. This accounts for why the Confucian idea is close to contemporary readers and why his teaching principles and methods has maintained vitality throughout history. Confucius explained humanity as 'to love the people,' or 'to love the masses extensively.' This led him to provide equal opportunities in education and to carry out teaching activities in dialogue with his disciples. The overall development of everyone's potential ability constitutes the most important part of Confucius' notion of humanity. He practiced moral education, intellectual education, physical education and aesthetic education through his 'six artcrafts': 'The wise have no perplexities, the humanists have no worries, the courageous have no fears.' His philosophy originated from his political practice and teaching activity. Based on experience, its principles and methods are pragmatic rather than speculative. Confucius has been honored as a paragon of virtue and learning by Chinese people for thousands of years. The main documents of Confucian philosophy consists in recorded dialogues and discourses with his disciples: The Analects. Thus it may seen that his lectures sent forth an amiable intimacy, and his philosophic discourses were characterized distinctively by an element of feeling. Having acted as shepherd, trumpeter and storekeeper in his early days, Confucius eventually turned out to be the most famous and learned scholar in his time by staunch studying independently. From his thirtieth down to his death, there were thousands of students following around him. Even after his death, his tomb had been guarded by lots of disciples and admirers ,and the place turned to be a village at last. With his achievements and prestige, Confucius had been honored for a paragon of virtue and learning by Chinese people for thousands of years. The main documents of Confucian philosophy consist in the recorded dialogues and discourses between him and his disciples. Thus it may be seen that his lectures sent forth an amiable intimacy, and his philosophy in that time could only be a naive empiricism brought forth by the special situation rather than a great set of speculative metaphysics. I. Humanity Principle The central idea of Confucian philosophy is REN, i.e. humanity, he explained that REN is to love the people," one could not love only his parents, brothers, sisters and sons," but ought to love the masses extensively.

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