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History of Chinese Philosophy, Essay Example

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Words: 606

Essay

Confucius virtue ethic extends over three phases. The first phase is named after him since he taught over 3000 students these virtues. Phase two is from Zisi to Mencius and phase three is known as the Xunzi. One of Confucius’ early and much treasured philosophies lay in the concept of matching words with deeds. In modern socialites it is often translated let your word be the bound. When he was asked by Zizhang about proper conduct his response related to speaking honestly and upholding integrity by doing what one says.1

Precisely, Confucius advances that qualities such as liberality, earnestness, truthfulness, generosity and diligence are essential virtues.  Earnestness removes disrespect and liberality and trustworthiness will engage the heart of everyone bringing success into their life. Generosity like altruism is the virtue that reap reciprocity since we all reap what we sow. Interestingly, Confucius was considered the first teacher of these concepts and ideas which are treasured unto today even though some societies and cultures forget their significance to life.2

In relating virtue ethics as a life concept Confucius went through the stages of his life from adolescence to older adulthood highlighting for each stage showing where there was a distinct purpose he sought to fulfill and did it honorably.3 In analyzing this portion of his philosophy it is clear that Confucius believed in purposeful living and using a plan to guide the actions one takes in life. Its applicability to modern society demonstrates that people who live on purpose with a plan are successful.

Further, he advances the learning virtue and benefits of practicing what is learnt. In Confucius day much learning began from the womb/home. Confucius sees “virtue” ‘as excellence of abilities; wisdom as excellence of human intellect; that of ren or humanness as excellence of human feeling; and that of bravery as excellence of human will’4 It is also perceived as maintain a  good relation with people. In this sense virtue is perceived as harmonization of relationship.

Further, learning disruptions affect the quality of filial relationships and harmonizing of relationships, Confucius contends. He projects that virtue ethics will enable a young man to be build self-respect and subsequently for others. Filial Piety3 Confucius advances means being good to one’s parents. Precisely, it is honoring one’s father and mother by being obedient to their instructions through learning, which ought to begin within the confines of home.

Confucius continues to discuss Filial Piety as being merely reciprocity of love whereby children return the affection offered by parents through nurturing during childhood. While this continues to be a valuable virtue ethics it is not practiced among all cultures in the same way as Confucius explained it ought to occur. Importantly, Confusion sees filial piety as a social function forming the foundation for integrity in society. However, with globalization and social change some children seem to lose this love reciprocity feature in their relationships and challenge parents for poor parenting skills. They sometimes hold them responsible for the misfortunes they face in life.

Both Filial piety and reciprocity of love focus on harmonizing of relationships. Today this is lacking in our society. Children are taking parents to court and parents do the same. Judges tell children that they do not have any obligation to their parents and this is viewed on public television. This goes to shown how virtue ethics have been nullified in modern societies and Confucius philosophies may appear outdated.

Notes

Vincent Shen. Course Power point lecture (2013), 1

Fung Yu-Lan, A Short History of Chinese Philosophy( New York: The freePress.1976). 39

Ibib., 19

Ibib., 20

Bibliography

Fung Yu-Lan, A Short History of Chinese Philosophy, New York: The free Press, 1976″

Shen Vincent. Course Power point lecture .2013

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