Essay on History: Morality and Confucius

Submitted By jvill18
Words: 468
Pages: 2

The Analects of Confucius were written about 500 BC and are traditionally attributed to Confucius. However, much of the actual text was written by his immediate followers over time following his death. The source is “read as a collection of profound musings on politics, morality, personal behavior, family, and culture. The Analects of Confucius is an anthology of brief passages that present the words of Confucius and his disciples, describe Confucius as a man, and recount some of the events of his life. The original audience of the words recorded in the Analects was made up of Confucius’s disciples, who passed down their master’s teachings to their own disciples, who in turn wrote them down in what eventually became the Analects. The book was used as an instructional manual to inculcate in future generations the moral values Confucius believed were critical for political leadership. In written form, Confucius’s teachings reached a wider audience, going well beyond the circle of its intended readers—rulers, officials, and aspiring “superior men.” The Analects have greatly influenced the moral and philosophical values of China and other countries in Eastern Asia. The text has remained a fundamental course of study for any would-be Chinese scholar for over two thousand years. The main idea of the source is that a man should lead an upright life, educate himself, and contribute to the betterment of society. The superior man, Confucius says, respects elders, cultivates the friendship of good people, presides over his subordinates with a fair and even hand, continually educates himself, overflows with love for fellow human beings, and in general sets a good example for others to follow. Most of his observations show a world sinking into barbarism and terror. Unable to obtain a strong political role like he desired, he reformed…