Confucius The Secular

1) Given Confucius’s characterization of himself in 7:1 (sourcebook, p. 50), how is possible for Fingarette to argue that he must be seen as “a great cultural innovator rather than as a genteel but stubbornly nostalgic apologist of the status quo ante” (Fingarette, p. 60)?

Thread 2

2) What does Fingarette use the “holy vessel” as a metaphor for?

Forum: October 7 discussion

Yan Hui

How is the relationship between Confucius and Yan Hui (his favorite disciple) presented differently in the Zhuangzi (pp. 105-106, 110-111) from the way it is presented in the selections of the Analects that we read last week?


What is the point to the story about Hundun (p. 111)?

Forum: October 14 debates!

Confucians vs. Mohists 1

Universality or partiality?

Confucians vs. Mohists 2

The value of ritual

Confucians vs. Daoists 1

The importance of morality

Confucians vs. Daoists 2

The importance of social hierarchy

Forum: October 21 discussion

discussion thread 1

What is the most important similarity between Mencius and Xunzi’s systems of thought?

discussion thread 2

What are the most important differences between Mencius and Xunzi? How would Mencius critique Xunzi? How would Xunzi respond?

Forum: October 28 discussion

discussion thread 1

How does the challenge of Buddhism affect Han Yu’s understanding of the Confucian tradition?

discussion thread 2

To what extent do Han Yu’s arguments differ in approach or in content from earlier writers like Mencius and Xunzi?

Forum: November 18 discussion thread

Your alternatives to Zhu Xi’s proposed reforms

Be sure to assess one of Zhu Xi’s proposed reforms and provide your own alternative reform that addresses the problem. Later, return to the discussion and post an assessment of one of your classmates’ proposed reforms.

Forum: December 2 discussion

discussion thread 1

What are the main issues raised in these texts concerning the place of Confucianism in premodern Korea (Choson)?

discussion thread 2

Which critique of the status quo in Choson Korea do you find more convincing, Pak Chega’s or Chong Yagyong’s? Why?

Forum: December 9 discussion

Fujiwara Seika in transnational context

How would you assess the relations between Japan, Korea, and Vietnam (“Annam”) c. 1600, based on these readings by Fujiwara Seika? What kinds of exchanges seem to be taking place?

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