Confucian Learning Essay by serendipity

Confucian Learning
An examination of the philosophy of Confucius regarding learning.
# 49400 | 1,751 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2004 | US
Published on Mar 04, 2004 in Philosophy (Eastern)

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This paper explains how the Confucian understanding of learning is discussed in several different texts, including Confucius's "Analects", the works of Mencius, and Hsun Tzu's "Encouraging Learning." It concludes that it is incumbent upon each individual to undertake a course of learning that will cultivate a set of skills that are useful to each individual in a way that relates to the practical requirements of their everyday life and the fulfillment of their duty. The paper explains that it is in the moment that wisdom can be found; wisdom is not just ceaseless learning, but ceaseless learning that is properly applied.

From the Paper:

"All of these texts consider the concept of learning and how, within the Confucian system of belief, learning is to be approached. Indeed, it is true that, in the case of both Mencius' and Confucius' works, they are written in a sort of aphoristic and anecdotal style that makes it more difficult to parse the meaning and derive an analytic and stematized "Confucian methodology" of learning. Nonetheless, looking at the general character of the remarks concerning learning and the specific elements that are repeatedly emphasized, one can begin to get a sense of how Confucian thought views the prospect of learning and its relation to gnosis. Ultimately, however, the relationship between learning and gnosis, or wisdom, is often left a little ambiguous perhaps this is because the sages quoted in these texts often note that genius in wisdom can only be found in the particular and that wisdom as a general trait is one that is perhaps unreachable. Nonetheless, by cultivating an ethic of ceaseless work and struggle in relation to learning, Confucian thought suggests that wisdom may either be attainable constantly or a great percentage of the time. Indeed, Confucius and the other sages constantly reaffirm the concept that individual talent, in whatever degree, is not in itself enough to successful undertake the process of learning and it is only through arduous and ceaseless devotion to study that one may be able to attain any sort of wisdom at all."

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