Confucius (551–479 BCE) was a famous Chinese thinker and social philosopher, whose teachings and philosophy have deeply influenced East Asian life and thought. His philosophy emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice, and sincerity. These values gained prominence in China over other doctrines, such as Legalism or Daoism during the Han Dynasty
Confucius’s thoughts have been developed into a system of philosophy known as Confucianism. It was introduced to Europe by the Jesuit Matteo Ricci, who was the first to Latinize the name as “Confucius.” The teachings of Confucius are known primarily through the Analects of Confucius, a collection of “brief aphoristic fragments,” which was compiled many years after his death. Setting Confucius’ ideas against the context of his own life and times, Jonathan Price brings to life the thoughts of the Master in their pristine form. Price traces the influence of Confucius both in China and globally right up until our own day, and examines whether the world needs to listen to him once again.
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