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« In Solidarity with the People of Burma | Main | Getting Confucius Wrong on his Birthday »

September 28, 2007


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4) Follow them through. Ruism neither started nor ended with Confucius, so while certain aspects of the Analects may appear dated to us, if we follow them through history up to the modern time we can see how they have developed into a fully modern concept. The classics were distilled by Confucius. This product was complimented by Mencius and Xunzi; further refined by Zhu Xi; reforumalted by Wang Yangming; polished by Wang Fuzhi, Kaibara Ekken, Yi Yulgok, T'oegye, Xiong Shili; modernized by Feng Youlan and Tu Weiming; liberalized by Yu Dan; Westernized by any number of philosophers like Rodger Ames, David Hall, Bryan Van Norden, ect.

There is no need to try and jump from two-and-a-half thousand years ago to right now in one go -- there is a well worn path for the student to walk. Sometimes it might veer off into strange curly-ques (Uncrowned King movement, I'm looking at you), but I think that enduring inspiration can be found along the totality of the path. Even, or perhaps especially, in disagreement.

Here's a picture from Korea:

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