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163. Book Review | The Analects, The Doctrine Of The Mean, and The Great Learning by Confucius

I wanted to review the Doctrine of the Mean and the Analects because I think they are full of amazing wisdom. Confucius is, in my opinion, on par with some of the greatest Greek philosophers. Having now read more of Plato’s work, I would compare these works to something like the Symposium or Republic. The question-and-answer style is very engaging and I think makes for a good demonstration of how to discuss ideas.

The Wisdom of The Analects

This is a readable, short discourse on morality, propriety, and virtue. It is an incredibly insightful work that delves into a range of topics, each one focused on making people better. Also, it has a familiar form of discourse where Confucius’ students ask him questions and he answers. To those who’ve read works by Plato or the Gospels, this techniques will be familiar and, in my opinion, inviting.

“The superior man is catholic, not partisan.”

-Confucius

Although Confucius is from China, his ideas are incredibly similar to what we find in western philosophy. Furthermore, I believe the ideas expressed give a unique perspective since they don’t come from the West. Despite the similarity, there are differences that come out of this work in comparison to one from Aristotle or Thomas Aquinas. But, there is tremendous wisdom in this for anyone who is seeking truth.

Grab your copy of The Complete Confucius: The Analects, The Doctrine Of The Mean, and The Great Learning

Confucius - Author of The Doctrine of the Mean
Statue of Confucius, author of the Analects and Doctrine of the Mean

What is the Doctrine of the Mean?

The mean is an idea that exists in both in the East and West, and has a number of expressions. Different expressions of the Doctrine of the Mean are due to the fact it’s hard to pin down exactly. Aristotle, Confucius, Lao Tzu, and others have sought to explain the mean. Basically, the mean boils down to how to act morally and ethically.

“Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.”

Confucius

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236. Materialism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly Conversation of Our Generation

According to Wikepedia, "Materialism is a form of philosophical monism that holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental states and consciousness, are results of material interactions. According to philosophical materialism, mind and consciousness are by-products or epiphenomena of material processes (such as the biochemistry of the human brain and nervous system), without which they cannot exist. This concept directly contrasts with idealism, where mind and consciousness are first-order realities to which matter is subject and material interactions are secondary." Valid Concerns and Good Points At first, it seems to make sense. Much of what we encounter is material. Our food, light, furniture, etc. is all material. It would be easy at first glance to think everything boils down to what is material. But, does that really comport with what we experience and know? Errors of Materialism Materialism leaves out a large chunk of the human experience. First, it fails, like naturalism, to fully account for the supernatural and the spiritual. And, in doing so, it denies free will and many other parts of our experience that are products of the spirit. Also, materialism doesn't allow for the abstract truths we know to be. Moral truths, natural laws, beauty, and even some mathematical truths can't exist if everything is material. So, materialism fails to explain all that we know about the world. Corrections There is more to the world than just the material. It doesn't fit with our understanding of the world. We experience more than just the material in art and music, as well as abstract concepts. We also experience the phenomenon of free will, which is impossible in a materialist world. In order to fully comport with reality, we need to take into account more than material things. In order to fully experience the world, we have to take account for the non-material parts of our lives. Related Episodes in this Series What is Objective Reality? What is Subjective Reality? Unity of Subject and Object The Golden Mean for Understanding Objective and Subjective Reality Naturalism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/support
  1. 236. Materialism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
  2. 235. Naturalism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
  3. 234. The Golden Mean for Understanding Objective and Subjective Reality
  4. 233. Is Patriotism Good? | Reflections on the 4th of July
  5. 232. Unity of Subject and Object

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