On the Analects of Confuicus by Alex Leibowitz 1.1.
子曰‘學而時習之、不亦說乎、有朋自遠方來、不亦樂乎、人不知而不慍、不亦君子乎’ The master said, "To learn and in time accustom oneself to what one learns, isn't that pleasant? To have friends who come from far away, isn't that fortunate? If someone though unknown be not aggrieved, isn't he a great master?" The three blessings are learning (學), friendship (朋), and humility. The man who partakes of these blessings can be called a great master (君子). Learning must be extended through practice (習), and timely practice (時習) becomes habit. You would not discover many areas in a which a man, through practice, made no progress. Thus with skill we must remember humility, as the old oil salesman said: "我亦無他，惟手熟爾 " -- "What I have is nothing other than a skilled hand." For the great ambition of men is to put their skills into practice, and to be praised for doing good. But to have acquired the skill, merely to be able to do what is good, is itself worthy of praise, even if one is not in a position to do it. And to be worthy of being praised, as Aristotle remarks, is the end of being praised: " ἔ δ’ ἔ ίκασι τ ἔ τιμ ἔ διώκειν ἔ α πιστεύσωσιν ἔ υτο ἔ ἔ αθο ἔ ε ἔ τι ο ν ν ν α ς γ ς ναι· ζητο ῦ γο ῦ ῦ ῦτ ῦ φρονίμων τιμ ῦ σι ν π ν σθαι, κα ῦπαρ’ ο ῦ γινώσκονται, κα ῦῦ ῦ ῦ ς π’ ρετ · δ ῦ ο ῦ ῦ ι κατά γε τούτους ῦ ῦ ετ ῦκρείττων." -- "For still [those who aim to honor] seem to λον ν τ ρ pursue it so that they might believe themselves to be good. So they seek to be honored by the prudent, and by those with whom they are acquainted, and because of excellence. So that it is clear that for such men as these excellence is higher [than honor]." To be known (知) -- or alternatively for men to know you -- is to be honored and to be esteemed according to one's talents, but as we have said, it is better to be worthy of being known than to be known. And the master himself has said this: "不患莫己知、求為可知也"-- "It is no trouble that no one knows me, for I must seek to be worth knowing." This is also evidenced by the life of the master, for he wandered from kingdom to kingdom and received no employment, but he constantly strove by learning and courtesy to be worth employing, and we can hope that had he been employed, the people would have known justice. For the master did not believe, as Socrates believed, that there is no place in politics for an honest man, but rather that there is no place for an honest man, except in politics. But whether we are esteemed is not up to us, and we should take care lest we are bitter and worthless, for it is too much even to be bitter and worthy, but the worthy enjoy their own worth. And if in addition to our learning and our worth we attract friends who take pains to pleasure us with their company, we can regard ourselves as happy. For to have many friends in many places and to see them though they live far away is worth celebrating, indeed. These then are the ideals we must strive for: to learn much and to accustom ourselves to our learning, to make many friends and to enjoy most of all the pleasures of their friendship, and to make ourselves worthy of the honor of serving others, whether we are entrusted with responsibilities or whether we are passed over. 1.2.
for the impulse is innate. It is admitting that the others know you better than you know yourself. Master Yow would have us consider the roots of humanity to be piety (孝) and fraternity (弟). the way grows up (本立而道生). says Master Yow. He who knows this becomes humane. and the other question is how I recognize a teacher if I do not know what I am to be taught. we do not need to worry about the impulse. Tending to one's own nature is way to humanity.有子曰‘其為人也孝弟、而好犯上者、鮮矣、不好犯上、而好作亂者、未之有也。君子 務本、本立而道生。孝弟也者、其為仁之本與’ Master Yow said: "By his acts a man of piety and fraternity. look into yourself. who yet loves to offend against his superiors. as one submits to be looked after by oneself. when you see what is not fine. for the master and the way grow together -. Human beings do not grow alone. The roots of humanity break out of the seeds. The acts of a pious and fraternal man might indeed be the root of humanity. That is why we must take care to cultivate ourselves and to remove impediments. Humanity is what is common to men (人) -. but what is not good. For piety is also submitting to be governed by those who know the good." (4. The way (道) is likewise something natural: men have the seeds of goodness in themselves. what are the roots of humanity? And what is contrary to humanity? Well why do we look for the roots? Because. is rare indeed. "When you see what is fine. that only by means of the great master will the way spring up.there are none such. Humanity is not something beyond our reach: it is what we are already. is piety (孝). Humanity is what a human is to be. removing impediments to its growth in the others.certainly my teacher is among them -. A great master attends to the root.pick out the good and follow them. Seeing humanity in the others.17)
. About this the master has the following sayings: 子曰‘三人行、必有我師焉、擇其善者而從之、其不善者而改之’ The master said. who does not love to offend against his superiors." (7. consider how to equal it. And the happiness of human beings is like the flourishing of a plant.and to achieve humanity is to become fully human. we will submit to be governed by them too. It is for this reason that the roots are the great master's concern. when the root are planted. and insofar as we recognize that we do not know our good better than the others. somehow. then." Humanity (仁) is our great ideal. and as the others submit to be looked after by oneself. which grows up healthy and strong all of itself provided the conditions for its progress are ripe. If only we can remove the impediments. taking care of it in the others. Master Yow asks us to consider. but yet loves to make trouble -.it is that in virtue of which we are men -. shun it. the way grows up. But how am I to know who I am to submit to? For one question was how anybody could become good if there were no teachers to make him good.to become a great master is the way to be a great master. and tending to oneself means tending to the others.22) 子曰‘見賢思齊焉、見不賢而內自省也’ The master said. is also necessary. To look after the others as one looks after oneself is fraternity (弟). But to submit and be looked after by the others. but only if the way has sprung up will there be a great master? No. when the roots are planted. "Three men walking -. Is it the case.
too -. Thus the study of history. The question is whether it is better to submit to others that ought to submit to you. as a stream is diverted into a channel. "Would I have done better? Am I not also vulnerable? Isn't this my own weakness?" For we must recognize that we ourselves are shallow. it is only so that we can seek an instructor. or to have others submit to you when you ought to submit to them -. but also the honorable. we must be prepared to ask ourselves. What is unworthy in me." Master Yow having just instructed us what humanity is. and if I have had the opportunity. 1. is that I estimate my own worth higher than I estimate the worth of those around me. For observing the calamities that befall them and how they hold up or succumb. But our duty towards others is to discover what is worthy in them. what is to be imitated and what is to be avoided. because one desired to emphasize the tenderness and submission even of equals to each other which is required by respect. fewer of us would be wronged. is most of all desirable in a student.we should always respect what other men respect. a pleasant aspect. is an example. if we learn to respect others and submit to them. my belief is an expression of my own lack of worth in respect to the other person. a wide acquaintance with the affairs of men in all their variety. and we would express this duty by suppressing what is unworthy in ourselves. '兄'. (Ideally. Thus the Master corrects his pupil Yow by warning us that though
. and training indeed is simply the harnessing of luck to make skill. Being good is as much a matter of luck as a matter of training. we would all become brothers. then he is being unworthy. I answer.3. petty. If we were all of us more willing to be wronged. envious. we should understand that other people will teach us how to behave. respect is mutual. We must cultivate in ourselves a feeling for submission and humility. One can ask why the ideal of brotherhood was not signified with the word for the older brother. "Clever speech. we will not love to offend against them. when I am not. I must be thankful that I have not had the temptation. It is interesting that he chooses the word '令'. To take offense when chidden. If only we all treated one another as our superiors. For if I have not sinned. the Master (Kong) reminds us what humanity is not. Above all this is to be avoided. and if we do not love to offend against them. There is to be a harmony between piety and fraternity. for this word means not only the ingratiating.) The word '弟' signifies the younger brother. it has struck others.This could be the answer. So in sum. also by observing their virtues and their vices -. even the official. To reverence itself reverence is due -. But if I only believe I am being offended against. we will not make trouble. and we must take these vices when we see them in others as a strong reproach to ourselves. greedy. I must be thankful that I have not had the opportunity.by their actions. not only their words. And if what is good and what is fine has not struck me. 子曰‘巧言令色、鮮矣仁’ The master said. Now if someone really does not treat me with the respect I deserve. If we recognize that we do not know.similarly. if only because we respect that they respect it. For the end of humanity is harmony with men. that what is good and what is fine strikes me. And yet for every criticism which we would allege against our fellows. if someone offends against me. rarely are humane. foolish. though the chiding is deserved. whether it is better to wrong or to be wronged.we learn to reflect upon what is good and what is bad in a man. And when the master says that among three men I must have a teacher. thinking that one's lack of knowledge in matters of good and evil is itself a distinction.
hypocrites. In such a state of mind. (1105b) But the many do not do these things. venerable discourse is a signpost and a map. So being a good philosopher always yields. to living well. 慍. of honors -. Both in speech and in action. ο ῦ ο ῦ τ ῦ μα τω δ’ τοι ν ψυχἔν οἔτω φιλοσοφοἔντες. convinced that the wicked prosper and good men live in obscurity. suspicion of everything that appears to be superior. But if we become too skeptical. and so forth. ο ἔ ς τ ῦ ῦ τρ ῦ ῦ ν α ν κούουσι μ ῦ ῦ ιμελ ῦ ποιο ῦ δ’ ο ῦ ῦ τ ῦ προσταττομένων. the affectation of beauty in speech also distracts both from the truth in deliberation and from the good in action. for we must remember that the end of all scrutiny and philosophizing is living well -. This must be reproved.for then we are no longer 弟. At best. and afterward to rationalize what cannot be justified. beautiful speeches are hypocritical -. but to dwell on either is in a way to dwell on the other (it is only because I appear to myself to be so good. In one aspect. in the end. is to think that because we listen to the words of great men. And even what is good in part sometimes is not good on the whole.so that neither will they be well in body who are so treated. and so forth. but we must learn to recognize true worth. the clever or eloquent word (speech).the use of words by others to persuade us to carry out what is not good.that we consider the problems in order to solve them. for even in our day there are those who have been ready to call tyrannies "democracies". nor will these who so philosophize be well in soul. μ ντες το ἔ κάμνουσιν. ἔ ἔ δ ἔτ ἔ λόγον καταφεύγοντες ο ἔ λ τα ν π ν ονται φιλοσοφε ἔ κα ἔο ἔ ἔ εσθαι σπουδα ἔ ἔ οιόν τι ποιο ἔ ν τως σ οι. lest we be led astray by false lights. then I am convinced that the whole world is a conspiracy against me. I imagine that the others are fools. for the speech is belabored and the deed is postponed.submission to one's superiors (孝) is at the root of humanity.really that I am the one who deserves the honors that are awarded to others. It remains a difficult balance. but having retreated into words think they philosophize and in this way will be studious. We must nonetheless avoid the opposite error. but really to have arrived at the truth -. we must be careful not to let ourselves be carried away by the appearances of rank. in a way. license. because there is an aspect in things that belies their true worth. over what is seemly in others). that I am bitter. there is a kind of beauty that goes no farther than appearances and can even mask a much less seemly reality.and to live with it. for often the name of what is merely better
. Thus also Aristotle says. ν π ς. ἔ λ’ ο ἔπολλο ἔτα ἔ μ ἔ ο ἔπράττουσιν. the end of doing philosophy is to stop doing philosophy. and we should not cultivate such appearances for their own sake. When I allow myself to be carried away. that we must take care to minutely scrutinize the words of the masters. "freedom". The masking of ugly truths by beautiful words cannot be unknown. In another aspect. And yet in that there is a difficulty too. and we must remember this. we therefore have made ourselves good. we risk vanity. doing something similar to the sick who carefully listen to their doctors. We must guard against the mere appearance of worth in ourselves and in others. but do none of the things prescribed -. And there is this further difficulty.they are like the soliloquies of certain characters in Proust who affect depth in their discourse but really are concerned with mere words and the affectation of a style (the Romantic). that my own worth is not recognized -. Humanity is not a matter of appearing to be superior. Our constant danger. and can hardly be said to respect them as equals. And as Wittgenstein said too. σι δ ν ν ῦ περ ο ῦ ο ῦ ῦ ε ῦ ε ῦῦ σ ν δ’ κ νοι ξουσι τ ῦσ ῦ ο ῦ θεραπευόμενοι. then. but those who would follow it have yet to embark upon a long and difficult road. And there is a much less seemly use of cunning words against which we should be on our guard -. Another thing to guard against is the 巧言. of all public expressions of rank.
and if there is blame on whose side it lodges. in the end. in my dealings with Jones.
.for having once been deceived ourselves. but between these two there must be something. And the most difficult thing. we are deceived or confused -. malicious intention to conceal the good or merely error as to its true nature -. and people who persuade others end up persuading themselves. whether I have done as I should. Whether the misuse of language begins with deceiving or merely with deception. we proceed to deceive others. but difficult and disconcerting to consider. and we are asked to be content with something less than the whole good. done well. or Smith and associates. for it is easy and edifying to extol honesty in one's dealings with friends.is also a difficult question. no less I who write these words as you who read them. in doing so. that we are trying to apply names to the right things and taking good counsel for the sake of right conduct. because we have failed to observe that we enjoy at present what is only good in part. and it is not helpful to say that the measure of its truth is whether one should live by it. It would not be right to say that the measure of the truth of an ethical discourse is whether one can live by it. And it is hard to know if. which is to try to reform our conduct and see whether we have not.is usurped for that which is best. is to concern ourselves always with particulars. when we speak this way. It should have gone without saying that we should be continually on our guard.