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Title: The chun tzu, 'ideal man', in the Analects of Confucius, compared to the Greek and Christian concepts
Author: Morton, W. Scott
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1964
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Enquiry into the significance of the term chun tzu 'gentleman' as used in the Analects of Confucius gives a succinct and understandable notion of what Confucius and his early disciples conceived to be the ideal man. Preparation for a valid enquiry of this kind is made: 1. by a brief discussion of the nature of the Chinese language and of some of the semantic problems posed by the translation of ethical terms from one language and culture to another; 2. by reference to the factor of personality and background in a summary of the life and times of Confucius; and 3. by reference to the factor of literary usage, examining the use of chun tzu in the Book of Odes of the pre-Confucian period. The central section of the study examines the qualities ascribed to the chun tzu, gentleman or ideal man, in the Analects, including the transfer of the term from the hereditary and aristocratic sense, "man of gentle birth", to the ethical sense, "gentleman", having reference to character and conduct. Comparisons and contrasts are then drawn with the character held to the ideal by the Greeks, with particular reference to Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. A parallel is found in 'the middle way' admired by both Chinese and Greeks. The chief contrast is not in any one quality, save perhaps In the Chinese neglect of 'courage', but in the reasoned approach of the Greeks and the intuitive approach of the Chinese. In a similar way some comparisons and contrasts are drawn with the Christian ideal. Though there is strictly speaking no stereotyped Christian ideal in a similar form to the chun tzu, the quality of love is found to be the one most frequently stressed by St. Paul. The contrast with the Chinese ideal lies not only in this point of the emphasis on love, but still more in the means whereby men are to seek to reach the ideal.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available