The Analects
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The Analects

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  8,091 ratings  ·  274 reviews
This lively new translation with clear explanatory notes by one of the foremost scholars of classical Chinese provides the ideal introduction to the Analects for readers who have no previous knowledge of the Chinese language and philosophical traditions.

"How dare I claim to be a sage or a benevolent man?"

By constructing the philosophy expressed through The Analects, Confuc...more
Paperback, Penguin Classics, 256 pages
Published December 20th 1979 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published -400)
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Community Reviews

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Eric Kibler

You know in all those Charlie Chan movies, where Charlie Chan would say, "Confucius say..." and follow with something brilliant? Well, Confucius never said all that shit.

Basically, he said, "Love learning, mourn your parents for three years, know the Odes, appreciate music, observe the proper rituals, honor what has come before, observe propriety, love doing a good job over getting a good salary, and love virtue more than beauty."

I mean, that's it. I summarized it for you.
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...more
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...more
David Sarkies
Feb 14, 2014 David Sarkies rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
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...more
Robert Jacoby
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...more
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.
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
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
Michael Connolly
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
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
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...more
"Суждения и беседы" Конфуция это одна из лучших книг, которые мне когда либо доводилось прочесть.

От той концентрации мудрости, которой она переполнена, я просто в восторге. В книге включены все принципы и основы уклада благополучной жизни людей с помощью которых все люди мира могут сосуществовать во благо друг друга и ни чем не обделяя брат брата.

Здесь собраны высочайшие стандарты морали и этики и примеры взаимодействия между людьми в тех или иных случаях человеческой жизни. А также, что немалов...more
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
Mike Maxwell
"The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper names." Truer words have rarely been spoken.

Confucius ranks among Socrates, Plato and Aristotle as among the most influential philosophers who ever lived. Read the Analects, and read it carefully, and you will understand why. His philosophy is a curious mixture of profound ethical and practical wisdom, ritual prescriptions and commentary on traditional Chinese learning, and so some readers may find themselves growing impatient as they wa...more
The book I read was translated by Edward Slingerland but I can't seem to find it here on Goodreads.

22: If I am not fully present at the sacrifice, it is as if I did not sacrifice at all.

29: (4.1) To live in a neighborhood of the Good is fine. If one does not choose dwell among those who are Good, how will one obtain wisdom?

35: (4.17) When you see someone is worthy, concentrate upon becoming their equal: when you see someone who is unworthy, use this as an opportunity to look within yourself.

The DC Lau translation is the only decent one I've found (it should be the one whose cover is pictured here.) Book of quotes to live by. The book that made Redd Foxx famous (in a perverse way.) A cynical old man is tired of scouring the earth for people who want real truth and moral integrity rather than flattery, fortune and fair women. When walking with two people, model yourself after the one more upright than you and use the less upright one to remind you of and help correct your own faults.

Derrière l'apparente simplicité du propos se cache une éthique réelle qui résonne toujours à travers les siècles.

"Celui qui sait une chose ne vaut pas celui qui l'aime. Celui qui aime une chose ne vaut pas ceui qui en fait sa joie."
I sincerely hope this made more sense to the ancient Chinese. It's by far the most pointless of the ancient philosophical and holy books I've read, mostly due to the fact that it's totally disorganized. Perhaps if I had had a guide it might have been easier to decipher... but as it is, I doubt even that. Don't bother reading this, just take a course on world religions/philosophies and use what they say to understand Confucianism. You're not going to get anywhere with this.
Benjamin Parry
“The gentleman devotes his efforts to the roots, for once the roots are established, the Way will grow therefrom.”

It has taken me a long time to write this post. Although my aim is to write a review of every book that I read once I have finished it, it has taken me almost three weeks to complete this write up.

It is a monumental task to try and write something as deceptively simple as a review of the Analects of Confucius. A book that has been compared to the Bible and the Qur’an and has been cr...more
Kind of a 4th century BC version of "How to win friends and influence people". Some of the text does not translate to the modern age well, as it makes direct reference to people and customs of the time. However, much of what Confucius had to say is just as relevant now as it was then.

I listened to this book free via the online Libravox ( library. This was a very quick listen, and definitely worth the time.
Confucius = Aristotle.
Not exactly, of course, but once you start thinking Aristotelian thoughts, it's hard not to see them crashing around all over the Analects.

I read this a million years ago. I remembered it out of the blue. I just completely fell into it, absorbed, while curled in the nook of a porch windowsill in summertime by the beach. I literally couldn't pull myself away, it was a modern library anthology of his work...they don't have it listed here but it contained the Analects, so here 'tis...
I thought the most interesting part of this book was the introduction by the translator which gave me the background and insight I would not have gotten by reading the Analects myself.

It really is '1. Master says... 2. Master says... ...'

In context I'm sure it is worthy of 5 stars but in terms of being a satisfying read 1 star.
Gostei de refletir sobre muitos dos pensamentos de Confucio, mas sobretudo acho que o tradutor Simon Leys fez um trabalho extraordinário de explicação do contexto e da substância de muitos dos analectos.
Também a sua introdução ao livro é muito boa e começa com uma referência curiosa:
"Se considerarmos os grandes pais espirituais da humanidade - Buda, Confucio, Sócrates e Cristo-, ficaríamos impressionados por um curioso paradoxo: hoje, nenhum deles poderia obter sequer um modesto lugar de profess...more
Fred Kohn
This rating and review is for the Skylight Illuminations edition. It consists of a few key passages annotated and explained by Rodney L. Taylor, PhD. Reading this edition was a far better experience than my earlier attempts at simply picking up an unannotated edition and doing the best I could. Sometimes a work is from a time and place so unfamiliar that one needs a guide, and I found that to be true with the Analects. Taylor does a great job of comparing and contrasting Confucian concepts to mo...more
Feb 02, 2009 Jellyblacktea added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, especially teenagers.
Recommended to Jellyblacktea by: In china, everyone knows this book.
I read the original of this book when I am in Grade 11. It totally changed me, changed my attitude to my life. It told me what great is.
Bryan Schwartz
Fascinating, short, and direct. Couldn't have asked for a better book to deal with comparative political ideology.
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...more
Barnaby Thieme
David Hinton as produced a translation of the Analects that is highly-readable and sometimes lyrical, such as:

Adept Kung said: "When the Master talks about civility and cultivation, you can hear what he says. But when he talks about the nature of things and the Way of Heaven, you can't hear a word." - V.12

The translation of the key term "Jen" as "humanity" appears to be well established, but I think it is a poor choice and rather prefer Peter Boodberg's "co-humanity." It reflects the etymology...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Please Combine - The Analects 2 14 Aug 12, 2012 09:46AM  
  • Mencius
  • Chuang Tzu: Basic Writings
  • The Discourses
  • The Upanishads
  • The Enneads
  • A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy
  • A Treatise of Human Nature
  • Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy
  • The Way of Chuang Tzu
  • On the Republic/On the Laws
  • Early Greek Philosophy
  • Ethics
  • The Consolation of Philosophy
  • Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio
  • Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems: Ptolemaic and Copernican
  • The Complete Works: The Revised Oxford Translation, Vol. 1
  • Theaetetus
  • The Debt of Tears (The Story of the Stone, #4)
Confucius was a Chinese thinker and social philosopher, whose teachings and philosophy have deeply influenced Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese thought and life. Died 479 BC (aged 71–72).

孔子 - Kong Zi
孔夫子 - Kong Fuzi (Kung Fu-Tzu)
More about Confucius...
Confucian Analects, The Great Learning & The Doctrine of the Mean The First Ten Books (Penguin Great Ideas) The Doctrine of the Mean Ta Hio: The Great Learning of Confucius The Teachings Of Confucius

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