Homework Assignment #3
Two passages about filiality appear below, one from the Mozi, the other compiled from the Analects. In this exercise, the task is to analyze how they contrast in terms of the thinking that seems to underlie them. What different issues focus the attention of the two authors? How does each approach the implicit underlying questions: "How should one undertake to be filial -- What does true filiality consist in?" Don't merely note differences in the passages themselves (although you'll need to read closely so that you're aware of them) -- think about how the differences in the passages may reflect differences in the intellectual enterprises of Confucianism and Mohism that generated each passage. This is straightforward assignment -- 250 words is the maximum.
The assignment is due Monday, September 27.
Let your mother and father need be concerned only for your health. When your parents are alive, make no distant journeys; when you travel, have a set destination. What is meant by "filiality" today is nothing but being able to take care of your parents -- but even hounds and horses can require care; without respectful vigilance, what is the difference? It is the expression on the face that is difficult. (from the Analects)
Now, if I am a filial son . . . do I first make it a point to love and benefit other man's parents so that they will return love and benefit to mine? Or do I first make it a point to hate and injure other man's parents so that they will love and benefit mine? Obviously, I must first make it a point to love and benefit other man's parents so that they will return love and benefit to mine. So if all of us are to be filial sons can we set about it any other way than by first making a point of loving and benefiting other men's parents? (from the Mozi)