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First Year Seminar 2 First draft of research paper 17.03.2011 Topic: Plato and Confucius- where East meets West Let me be clear. I am not comparing two great philosophers, I never can. To compare two most significant philosophers in history of humankind would be very incorrect. All I can is to find similar areas in an enormous field of thoughts of two remarkable philosophers. What can be similar in these philosophers, who were born during different ages on different parts of the world? Many people would answer that philosopher from ancient East and west had probably different views and world sight. Yes, I agree: place, culture, mentality of people is very important in forming a background for any person, even philosopher, but common understanding of “good and bad “is always the same. What is more, the vital thing is intention. The intention of Plato and Confucius was to bring peace to country, make society glad and improve morals and nature of people; so I think that if intention of two great philosophers was the same, they cannot be dissimilar. The first similarity is practical implementation. If we look at philosophy books, the main approach of their philosophy was practice. Two wise men believed knowledge and practice should be implemented to life in practical way, otherwise wisdom would be useless.
Preliminaries Socrates. I felt a great practical wisdom. Guardians and auxiliaries . Socrates deemed that wisdom is created for practice. it states much about perception of justice. The first stage of education Socrates provides a schedule for all students with concrete subjects and requirements. Part 4. but the essential point is in the republic itself. Socrates focused all their studies on practical implementation. Even the content in “the Republic” shows us the great practical approach of the book. Part 3. Part 2. consists of Plato’s theories about knowledge. Introduction The conventional view of justice. The characters in the book interpret the definition of justice. Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (stanford.edu) states that Plato as his educator.Let me take most famous work of Plato. Part 1. starting from the sensible definitions of justice till the structure of Kallipolis. (The book is a guide for a society to develop. the narrator describes the meaning of social organization and civilized society. “the Republic”.plato. “the Forms” and society.) From the first pages of “the Republic”. Plato provides the step-by-step plan to build an excellent society with outstanding government.
Part 6. Part 5. Education of the Philosopher Ruler The actual curriculum for Philosopher Ruler is described by Socrates. Definitely.The life of guardians(warriors) is portrayed. Justice in state and individual The understanding of justice in the state. drama and poetry and what kind of policy should be implemented towards them. Part 10. The immortality of the soul and the rewards of goodness The characters talk about soul immortality and theory of “the Forms”. Part 7. . we can call Plato as a practical philosopher. Part 8. Imperfect societies The characters of the book converse about flawed societies and regimes there. he even provided method of educating the future rulers. Theory of art Socrates narrates about art. • As you can assume the whole “Republic” is about practical advance. Part 11. Part 9.Women and the family Socrates describes status of women in the just state. Plato provided précised politics in the city. The philosopher Ruler Socrates and his mates discuss the features of the philosopher ruler. the ruler of Kallipolis. mental conflict and justice in the individual is depicted.
Thus he would seem stupid. In my opinion. he gained. “The Master asked. benevolence for Confucius is goodness and desire to do well.’” • In my opinion. A true benevolent person has positive feelings towards all . I think. we can say that Confucius encourages and promotes practice in direct way. when I take a closer look at what he does in private after he has withdrawn from my presence. goodness or righteousness. Second great similarity of Wiseman is expression as benevolence for Confucius or goodness for Plato. Hui is not stupid after all. in fact. to life. This concept is widely used by Confucius in his analects.In addition.’ I can speak to Hui all day without his disagreeing with me in any way. his student for being quiet and remembering wisdom from classes and implementing knowledge. doubtless. He declares benevolence as a virtue and required part of characteristics of any gentleman. emotions and intentions is one of the key concepts of benevolence. I discover that it does. The most common similarity of Plato and Confucius is practicing wisdom. The ancient Chinese concept Wren means benevolence. so purity of feelings. Confucius admires Hui. in this analect Confucius voluntarily shows the importance of practice. so. “Lun Yui” also has an evidence of practical notes of Kong Qui’s (Confucius) teachings. He even admires Hui. However. throw light on what I said.
respectfulness and of course. analect 2) I think in analect above. Plato also uses such term as goodness much in his works. where person enjoys of striving for good. Goodness for Plato is immaterial. it is not easy to “keep” benevolence. There are many other qualities. In “Republic”. which partially describe benevolence. we. Benevolence is not an exception-the person has to work a lot to achieve high level of benevolence. From this analect we can assume that however. The wise man is attracted to benevolence because he finds it his advantages”. (Book 4. and finally pure intentions in all actions. I really admire that type of benevolence. Plato created very famous “theory of Forms”. which convinces people to do good deeds without greed intentions. mathematical objects can reach “the . opinion. the highest form of decency. the people have many lusts. wise people can use benevolence for their profit. but they can’t become a true benevolent people. there is a special section only on goodness. which states that only a person. hard work. for instance. loyalty.living organisms. • “…The benevolent man is attracted to benevolence because he feels at home in it. who passed all stages of learning like images. during our difficult lives. Goodness for Plato is the same as benevolence for Confucius. obstacles before fulfilling and completing our aims. controlled and encouraging emotions towards all men. they are: modesty. but the manes are just different. Confucius states that being benevolent makes a true benevolent person “to feel at home in it” and brings him happiness and joy.
In many analects Confucius shows that benevolent person can be anybody. become benevolent/ virtuous?” Confucius doesn’t limit benevolence. which is equivalent to benevolent person. or the ideas and identify the real world. a human being should work hard on character and make huge effort to recognize himself and the world around. As I mentioned above. truthfulness and intelligence. making an attempt is not enough (as for Confucius). he declares that benevolence is opened for everybody. who makes an attempt. Plato generated “theory of Forms”. he believed that to identify the good and be called as true virtuous person. Plato here would answer considerably analogous to Confucius. And to do that. only true compassionate person can achieve the good. This theory lets a human being to achieve goodness. without purity of soul. but the person should have pure thinking and right intentions. In “the Republic”.Forms”. where the forms. For Plato. or the ideas are the good. . because purity is also key point in goodness. loyalty. But do opinions of two philosophers meet in question “Can everybody. As I mentioned above. an individual can never become a true benevolent person. such as purity of thoughts and intentions. a person should have a true strive to the good. In addition. because it is not easy to become good. benevolence requires a lot of effort. respectfulness. Plato uses expression as virtuous man. the virtuous man by Plato has the same qualities as benevolent.
Philosopher from East can never be the same as philosopher from West. they would understand each other very well and admire each other’s wisdom. but in many of their ideas they meet and support each other’s points. in question if everybody could become virtuous or not.So. Plato and Confucius had the same aim. Plato and Confucius have very related answers. .to make society educated. I think that if people have the same understanding of the “good and bad”. people cannot be opposite. content and virtuous. I think that if they would meet.
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