A Reader’s Companion to the Confucian Analects by Henry Rosemont Jr.

By Henry Rosemont Jr.

During this little ebook, Confucian student and thinker Henry Rosemont, Jr. has summarized 40 years of expertise learning, translating, and instructing the Analects. For crucial cross-referencing of textual passages in differing translations, Rosemont offers tables of variation spellings of chinese language phrases, a discovering checklist for college kids named within the textual content, a concordance of key philosophical and non secular phrases, and an annotated bibliography to steer the reader's additional reports and reflections at the textual content.

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Example text

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” and “You’re never too old to learn” are one such pairing, and “Act in haste, repent at leisure,” and “He who hesitates is lost” is another. ” These statements are of course incredible. It is very difficult for any of us to accept them as literal fact, for they violate very basic principles of logic and ordinary physics, and they contradict a lifetime of the testimony of our senses about the physical world. But if read less literally, it should not be difficult for us to believe there is a “truth” in what Oppenheimer said, just as for Confucius.

Even in Western culture the concept cluster of morals is fairly modern. In Chaucer’s and later Medieval and Renaissance days in England, for example, the description, analysis and evaluation of human conduct employed terms such as “liegeful,” “varlet,” “sake,” “shent,” “troth,” “chivalric,” “boon,” “soke,” “sooth,” “villein,” “churl” and several others clustered around the concept of honor. In the same way, Indian accounts use terms like “dharma,” “samsara,” “moksha,” “samadhi,” “karma,” “Brahman,” “dukkha,” “maya,” “atman,” “avidya” and more.

It thus behooves the serious reader to peruse all of the analects—almost half of the text—in which a student is named, and to make this task a little easier a Finding List for each of them mentioned three or more times is included at the end of this Companion (Appendix III). Even so, the reader will still have much work to do in coming to his or her own evaluation of many of the students, for Confucius sometimes praised, and sometimes faulted virtually all of them (Yan Hui being about the only exception).

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