Confucius

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Joe
 
Reply Wed 17 Dec, 2008 08:33 am
@Theaetetus,
Confucius says, "man with itchy bum, has smelly finger."
 
Bonaventurian
 
Reply Wed 17 Dec, 2008 11:57 am
@Theaetetus,
I suppose for me the point is that philosophy tends towards truth. Even if certain philosophers fall into error, philosophy as a whole is supposed to tend towards truth. The way that it tends towards truth lies entirely in the method involved. The early presocratics were big fans of (a primitive sort) of induction. Parmenides was a big fan of deduction. Socrates was all about the dialectic. You get the idea.

But if you still want to say "No, philosophy isn't about method," then I still pose this problem for you all:

What's the difference between Homer and Plato?

What's the difference between Jesus and Socrates?

What's the difference between Steven King and Nietzsche?

That said, I still fail to see why Confucius is important to us. Y'all have yet to explain this at any real length. The trademark of philosophy is the uncovering of universal truths. What's philosophically true is true for everyone, even if the truth is that the underlying truth is existentially dependent on each particular man.

So Marcus Aurelius isn't a "western" philosopher, insofar as he somehow philosophizes only for the west. He's a philosopher. Period.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Wed 17 Dec, 2008 12:02 pm
@Bonaventurian,
Confucius worked, essentially, the same way that Socrates worked - through conversation. Dialectics is not absent in the east.

Why should you have us explain the value of Confucius? He is one of the most influential thinkers the world has ever seen, and his books are at your finger tips. Try reading the Analects. See if there is any value for yourself. Come back with questions.
 
Bonaventurian
 
Reply Wed 17 Dec, 2008 12:13 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Confucius worked, essentially, the same way that Socrates worked - through conversation. Dialectics is not absent in the east.

Why should you have us explain the value of Confucius? He is one of the most influential thinkers the world has ever seen, and his books are at your finger tips. Try reading the Analects. See if there is any value for yourself. Come back with questions.


Chapter 1:6 wrote:
Confucius said, 'In the home, the young should behave with filial piety, and out in the world, with brotherly love. They should be prudent and trustworthy. They should love all people and be close to the benevolent. Having so done, their remaining strength should be used to learn literature.


You're absolutely right. This is totally the way that Socrates worked. :sarcastic:

It isn't just about conversation. It's the way in which the conversations occured. Consider Socrates' argument in the Apology, which basically ran like this:

Do you say that I do not believe in any gods, or the gods of the state?

You believe in no gods. You are an atheist.

But don't I believe in daemons?

You do.

And aren't daemons children of the gods?

They are.

Therefore I believe in gods.

Surely.

But you said I don't believe in any gods.

On that note, I'm still waiting for any of you to give me even one single solitary difference between Homer and the Greek philosophers which makes one a philosopher and the other not. :shifty:
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Wed 17 Dec, 2008 12:20 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
One word--definition. But what does Homer and Greek philosophers have to do with Confucius?
 
Bonaventurian
 
Reply Wed 17 Dec, 2008 12:25 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus wrote:
One word--definition. But what does Homer and Greek philosophers have to do with Confucius?


I'm getting to it. Definition. Why is one defined one way, and the other another way?

What is your definition of philosopher?
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Wed 17 Dec, 2008 12:40 pm
@Bonaventurian,
Yes, Confucius, like Socrates, worked with conversation. His students sat around him and they discussed matters at length with arguments. His students then wrote down sayings of Confucius which were taken from their conversations. Unlike Socrates, Confucius did not have students who recreated entire conversations. The way in which the students recorded their teacher is the difference. Knowledge is typically more valuable than sarcasm.

Whether or not Confucius is a "philosopher" in some strict sense is irrelevant. Confucius is one of the world's most significant thinkers. He made immense contributions to political and social philosophy.

We can define "philosopher" in many different ways. Most generally we can say that a philosopher is a lover of wisdom, and in that sense, Confucius is most certainly a philosopher.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Wed 17 Dec, 2008 12:42 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
My definition of a philosopher and my categorization of philosopher are two totally different concepts. I think all it takes to be a philosopher is a love of wisdom, but I would not classify all lovers of wisdom as philosophers. Welcome to the difference between Philosophy in the Academia sense and the philosophy of a practical sense.
 
Bonaventurian
 
Reply Wed 17 Dec, 2008 12:45 pm
@Theaetetus,
I'm not sure if you are implying this or not, but in case you are, I'd like to nip that in bud: if you are implying that philosopher is strictly academic (what is done at the university), then would you consider Kierkegaard, Socrates, and the Cynics philosophers?

On that note, if there really is a distinction, and anyone who "loves wisdom" is a philosopher, then I ask you: Is Homer a philosopher?
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Wed 17 Dec, 2008 12:50 pm
@Bonaventurian,
Are we done ridiculing Confucius for no good reason? If so, the question of "what is a philosopher" should go elsewhere.
 
deadcolor
 
Reply Sun 3 May, 2009 12:41 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Wa ha ha! Confusious is a military strategist, who is interested in philosophy! Nice one, everyone!
 
 

 
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