"The Master said, "If the scholar be not grave, he will not call
forth any veneration, and his learning will not be solid."
That's...not...an argument. It is
a conditional statement, but as such, there is absolutely no argument contained in the above section. There are a number of propositions which are being affirmed, but the affirmation of propositions does not suffice either for arguments or for philosophy.
The thing about eastern "philosophy" is that it is inextricably bound (and I wish I had my copy of Fr. Copleston's History of Philosophy Volume I
to quote from) to Eastern religion. The "philosophy" does not stand alone.
Of course, this may seem wierd to you for me to say this, given that I am a Bonaventurian. "But Bonaventurian," you will surely say, "everything that you say is wrapped up with your beliefs, and with God, and your Lord Jesus Christ!" And I agree.
But the thing about even Mideival philosophy is that philosophy nonetheless stands alone
. Even if St. Augustine wrote everything in a religious context, his philosophy nonetheless stands on the reason
and on rational arguments
St. Augustine, for example, argues basically along these lines (not in these words, of course, but certainly in this spirit): "God is He-Whose-essence-is-to be. Speaking a plurality of words is sequential. A temporal sequence tends towards not being. Therefore, God speaks only a single, Eternal Word."
There is present from Thales to Bl. John Duns Scotus... even to Nietzsche to Heidegger and on... a thing called...a...uh...what's it called...oh yeah...a syllogism
. Even Heraclitus, who had no problem throwing the law of non contradiction out of the window, used rational argument. "Writing is both straight and crooked," he says.
And for this reason we can safely say that Socrates was a philosopher and Confucius was not. I want you to read the defense of Helen by one of the Sophists (I forget which) and tell me that there's no obvious use of rational argument (an errant use, but a use nonetheless).
Either she was raped, conquered by love, or persuaded by words. Regardless of which, she's not to be blamed. Therefore, she's blameless.
It was in this "scene" in which Socrates "sprung," so to speak, and it was with this general sort of "tool" so to speak that He argued.
Confucius taught "wisdom."
Socrates loved wisdom, but considered himself wisest in realizing that he had none. He went around Athens showing "wise" men that they weren't wise at all, using his Socratic dialectic.
There is a very distinct difference between the way that Protagoras, Gorgias, and Socrates (as shown in the Apology
) went about things and the way that Confucius went about things.
Even the Sophists weren't just "teachers." They were persuaders. They argued. They disputed. They syllogized (even if the syllogisms were wrong).