Monday, September 10

Reading assignment: Confucius and the Origins of Confucianism; The Analects of Confucius (Appendixes 3-4), pp. 122-44

Your readings for today are somewhat longer and more diverse than usual. They can be broken into three types:

An overview of the Confucian school (in "Confucius & the Origins of Confucianism," pp. 1-16)

A brief selection of thematically organized passages drawn from The Analects of Confucius ("Confucius & the Origins . . .," pp. 17-23)

Two approaches to understanding how the text of The Analects of Confucius became a book (the two Appendixes to the Analects translation.

The goal last Friday was related to the first of these: to prepare the ground for a range of Confucian concepts (ren, li, filiality, Five Relationships, junzi) that worked together to create a systematic intellectual perspective. In class today I'll explore these in more depth, and I'll focus on a few of the passages from pages 17-23 to do so.

But I also want to use our introduction to the Analects to make you more aware of how problematic the basic sources of early Chinese history actually are, which is something you can see in the two appendixes, one of which infers from the structure of a single Analects "book" (or chapter), what the long and complex process of text assembly may have been, and other of which will allow you to see a recently recovered "proto-Analects" document, recovered from tombs dated about 300 BC.