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The Analects of Confucius: A Philosophical Translation

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  11,936 Ratings  ·  414 Reviews
"To quietly persevere in storing up what is learned, to continue studying without respite, to instruct others without growing weary--is this not me?"

Confucius is recognized as China's first and greatest teacher, and his ideas have been the fertile soil in which the Chinese cultural tradition has flourished. Now, here is a translation of the recorded thoughts and
ebook, 233 pages
Published November 24th 2010 by Ballantine Books (first published -476)
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Sep 08, 2012 Lawrence rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In a class taught by General George S. Patton, IV at the George Washington University in the early 80's, reflecting on his experience in Vietnam, he summarized the failure of US policy in SE Asia as a failure to understand the history and culture of the region.

Years later as I prepared to deploy to Afghanistan it struck me that much of our formal education in my lifetime focused on European and Western philosophers and histories, only perpetuating the vicious cycle which the son of the famous Wo
تا حالا زياد جملات زيبا و بى نظيرى از كنفوسيوس شنيديم. با كمال تأثر و تأسف، بايد اعلام كنم كه همه شون جعلى هستن، يكى از موارد تب جملات جعلى به بزرگان نسبت دادن.
جملات خود كنفوسيوس، بسيار خسته كننده و عارى از هر گونه زيبايى و نكته ى اخلاقى خاص هستن. به زحمت مى تونيد دو سه جمله پيدا كنيد كه ارزش نقل قول شدن رو داشته باشه. اون هم با دست كارى در جمله!
Confucius has a lot of wisdom. Anyone who is serious about living life well would do well to read the Analects.

Poignant Quotes:

If you try to guide the common people with coercive regulations and keep them in line with punishments, the common people will become evasive and will have no sense of shame. If, however, you guide them with Virtue, and keep them in line by means of ritual, the people will have a sense of shame and will rectify themselves.

Give your parents no cause for anxiety other than
It’s depressing to think that the teachings of Confucius constituted a religion in most of East Asia – i.e. they were wise sayings and stories of a great man from a certain time, that have been selectively reinterpreted by kings and heads of state, force-fed to generations of schoolchildren in various eras as a substitute for original thought, and generally manipulated out of context to subjugate a nation into obedience over and over again.

That’s probably why many Chinese intellectuals and progr
David Sarkies
Feb 14, 2014 David Sarkies rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Political Theorists, Philosophers
Recommended to David by: Stewart
Shelves: philosophy
The political sayings of a Chinese master
22 June 2011

While I have credited the writing of this work to Confucius, it was not actually written by him but rather by his disciples. Thus Confucius joins Socrates and Jesus Christ of having an enormous influence upon the world without actually writing anything down (though this is not correct, as I further outline below). Further, like Jesus Christ and Socrates, the books are a record of his sayings (though, unlike Jesus Christ, he did not perform an
Feb 27, 2015 Jimmy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
One of the great classics of world literature. Worth reading for the parts that still apply. Confucius describes himself as a transmitter, not an originator. The book may not contain any original sayings. Its main philosophical idea is to avoid extremes. That's also an ancient Greek idea. One can do no better than to follow that precept.

In some places, the orifices of a corpse were plugged up to prevent the soul escaping and doing harm to the community. In China, mortuary jades were used in the
Justin Evans
Jan 23, 2016 Justin Evans rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
You can't review the Analects. But you can review editions of the Analects, and this one, translated and commented upon by Annping Chin, is one of the great editions of any philosophy book I've ever come across. The translation clear without being condescending, and Chin includes the Chinese text at the back of the book. Her comments are fascinating; best of all, she includes references to and quotes from the many traditional commentaries on the book, so you know not only what e.g. one random Am ...more
Jun 15, 2016 Lotz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are two things that are commonly labeled ‘philosophy’. The first is philosophy sensu strictu, which deals with technical problems in its various branches, such as epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, etc. The other is what one could call a “philosophy of life”, a vague category that one encounters in religious texts, works of literature, poetry, and also intermingled with formal philosophy. Confucianism, insofar as I understand it, mostly falls into the latter category.

The Analects mainly ta
Sep 19, 2010 umberto rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
From my 5-day study tour in South Korea (August 5-9), I read a bit about Korean history in English, according to Prof. Han Young Woo (2010: 7), Confucius said, "Learning is a joy of life." This is an interestingly philosophical, psychological and educational quote as well as a groundbreaking one. Just imagine, Confucius said this some 2,500 years ago! Of course, we still need to read him to learn more even in this 21st century and beyond.

I've just posted this quote in my Facebook so that my stud
Michael Connolly
Apr 14, 2014 Michael Connolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, revisit
When Confucius was asked what he thought about the idea of being kind to someone who does you wrong, he pointed out that this would be unfair to people who treat you right, who deserve to be treated better than people who do you wrong. Confucius was therefore an advocate of justice, was Aristotle. Jesus, on the other hand, said turn the other cheek and love your enemies, which is not justice. I also liked the suggestion of Confucius that one should not serve in government when evil people domina ...more
Vaishali Joglekar
Knowledge of China's dynasties is needed to fully understand these maxims. With time and curiosity, though, the book is a jewel. Many of these aphorisms are Confucius joking with disciples.

1.8 If you study you will not be crude.

3.12 Sacrifice to the spirits as though the spirits were present.

3.24 The world has long been without the dao.

4.22 The ancients were wary of speaking - ashamed if their conduct did not match up

4.23 Rarely has anyone missed the mark through self-constrai
Otto Lehto
Aug 30, 2016 Otto Lehto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Robert Jacoby
Sep 07, 2014 Robert Jacoby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Title: Excellent introduction to how language impacts individual thought, a culture, and a civilization

(Background: Over a couple of decades' time I planned to read the scriptures of the world's great religions/philosophies. I started with my own, reading the Bible in two different translations, first the Hebrew-Greek Word Study Bible by Spiros Zodhiates, and then the NIV. Next I turned to Islam and Al-Quaran. After that The Bhagavad Gita and the Analects of Confucius. Every reading is helping m
Jan 13, 2011 Jesse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Confucius was, in his youthful studies, deeply influenced by the Tao Te Ching, and this is evident in the way he supposedly spoke - dialectically. The dialectics are almost always displaying the inverted contrasts of the wise man and the common man. Confucius disparages common people, saying, "They can be made to follow a path, but not to understand it." Confucius, however, did not condone the leading of people along any path, for he well knew that there is no path for people to follow by the Da ...more
Karl H.
Jul 29, 2012 Karl H. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Where to begin talking about Confucius? It is fascinating to read a philosophy that is so different than that of the Greeks. It is different, not only in form, but in its very essence than the early Western philosophy and culture that permeates American and European thought. When we talk about the “central value” of any philosophical system, we are necessarily engaging in a gross simplification. Plato valued truth, Socrates valued happiness, Jesus valued love, and Confucius values fidelity. But ...more
Jan 24, 2013 Thomas rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As with all books on philosophy, your mileage may vary. It didn't really resonate with me, but it was a relatively easy read, and Confucius himself stands out in it as a surprisingly interesting and relatable figure - a wise and greatly respected man, but one who suffered disappointments throughout his life, such as the loss of his favorite pupil, the failure of some of his other students to live up to his beliefs, and his disappointment in not achieving greater things. While his advice and visi ...more
Oct 31, 2013 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're familiar with the book of Proverbs in the Christian Bible and the Socratic dialogues, the format of Confucius' sayings is a blend of the two. To understand the work in its entirety a reader would need LOTS of historical footnotes, as many Chinese historical figures are mentioned with the assumption that the reader will know who they are. But the real "meat" is in the sayings themselves, set apart from any historical narrative. There are so many great thoughts on leadership and good cha ...more
Jessica Evans
It's not even really philosophy. It's just a collection of Chinese folk wisdom. Some of it is good. Some of it is merely the status quo, often in relation to empty things like the proper way to observe rituals and so forth. Ultimately there are no arguments here, only statements. Minimal self-contradiction fortunately, but some good and some bad means this is hardly a standard.
Jun 14, 2016 Damon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Confucius stands in contrast to Plato and the Bible in its delivery, though its message will echo in other great Philosophical and religious works. Confucius' sayings are collected in small and digestible bits, allowing the reader to take in as many or as few as they would like. Many of them are repetitive, and there are only a few themes repeated throughout.

The pleasure of this, however, lies in reading the source code for much of modern Eastern philosophy. As such, for the student of East Asi
Nicole Griffen
Nov 22, 2015 Nicole Griffen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Analects of Confucius is not drawn out story, they are short sweet and to the point, they could easily be read in one sitting while waiting at the doctor’s office are in line at the post office. While reading The Analects I found myself going into meditation mood. Confucius seems to be a gentle and quite man with a very good knowledge of self. The Analects aren’t just words on paper but instead they are rules to live by. When reading The Analects it is more important to absorb as much of the ...more
Jul 10, 2010 Mohsen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
بالاخره ماراتون نفسگیر خواندن این کتاب تمام شد. باز هم این اخلاق قدیمی، که کتابی را که به دست میگیرم نمیتوانم تمام نشده کنار بگذارم یقهام را گرفت. کتابی بود به شدت کسل کننده. ...more
Nandini Goel
Apr 14, 2016 Nandini Goel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book Review by Nandini Goel
"The Analects" by Confucius are set of Instructions laid down by Confucius on how to lead a life of a gentleman. The most important thing that Confucius focuses on for being a gentleman is to be obedient. An obedient son only can achieve success. Those who are not obedient to their teachers are prone to failures. Next, Confucius focuses on Humility. Arrogance is the biggest enemy of human. A gentleman is also generous without it costing him anything. He has desires wit
Daniel Cunningham
Interesting, in parts. Elsewhere... confusing. Elsewhere... boring and re-re-repetitive.

The Analects is collection of aphorisms, fragmentary historical references, fragmentary literary references, and the occasional pearl of wisdom. On the one hand I find it hard to see how it has the status that it does, as a major work of philosophy. On the other hand, I see how, in attempting to piece together meaning and wisdom from the bits and saying here, it could take on that status: though one is forced
I liked Slingerland's writing style in Effortless Action: Wu-Wei as Conceptual Metaphor and Spiritual Ideal in Early China -- I found it interesting and engaging. I got this book in the hope that the style would be similar. That was not the case.

While Slingerland seems to have a similar engaging tone in the commentary, the text itself is dry and didn't flow much at all. This is probably just the nature of the text, but it just didn't appeal to me, and the commentary just didn't make up for it.

Bernie Gourley
Oct 16, 2014 Bernie Gourley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There’s no one more firmly associated with Eastern wisdom—particularly in the form of aphorisms that fit nicely onto a fortune cookie—than Confucius. This is a book of such aphorisms.

I must admit, I’m not a wholehearted devotee of the Chinese philosopher, and am more likely to side with the Taoist sages who mocked Confucian ideas at every turn. In short, I’m not a big fan of the Confucian idea of societal hierarchies based on some elements of society accepting being infantilized in exchange for
Oct 31, 2011 James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the Four Books and Five Classics, this book is pretty enlightening regarding Chinese culture and history. The actual content gets a bit repetitive, but that's to be expected of these type of classics. It's also not quite as thought provoking as the Tao Te Ching. Still, it's a solid book and really has a lot to say.

I tried grabbing quotes from it via my Kindle as I was reading, but the Project Gutenberg version I was reading didn't support it. It's probably for the best, though. I would ha
Jared Della Rocca
My father reads the Bible before breakfast each morning. He's been doing it for as many years as I can remember. A little bit each and every day, and when he gets to the end he starts again. Juxtapose that with trying to read the Bible like a book, a couple chapters each day.

I'm a read through a book in a few days type of guy. The Analects of Confucius is not made for me. It's absolutely jam packed with wisdom. But you can't swallow four chapters of wisdom in one sitting. You have to take a smal
William Albers
Sep 11, 2016 William Albers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic book. The introduction by D.C. Lau is crucial for a deeper understanding of some of the passages but most of it is pretty straightforward. I find myself wanting to quote The Master in many situations since reading it. The Gentleman Confucius preaches about is a man I hope to emulate in my daily life. The world needs some more Confucianism.
Jan 01, 2013 Joseph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A real classic. I keep it as a reference. As with the "Tao Te Ching" there is so much that is wrongly attributed to Confucius. This book is one I use regularly. It's well organized with a good index. Will share one of my favorite quotations: "The Master said:, In serving your father and mother you ought to dissuade them from doing wrong in the gentlest way. If you see your advice being, ignored, you should not become disobedient but remain reverent. You should not complain even if in so doing yo ...more
Feb 09, 2015 Nate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
roundup from 3.5 stars, an interesting read though rather dense in places, especially when knowing nothing about ancient chinese history. keeping this for later when i read more in this area
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Goodreads Librari...: Please Combine - The Analects 2 15 Aug 12, 2012 09:46AM  
  • Mencius
  • Chuang Tzu: Basic Writings
  • Records of the Grand Historian: Qin Dynasty
  • The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch
  • A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy
  • Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy
  • Fragments
  • The Guide for the Perplexed
  • The Book of Songs: The Ancient Chinese Classic of Poetry
  • The Enneads
  • The Rig Veda
  • Theaetetus
  • A Short History of Chinese Philosophy
  • Essays in Idleness: The Tsurezuregusa of Kenko
  • De Anima (On the Soul)
  • Principles of Human Knowledge & Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous
  • The Discourses
  • Selected Writings

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