Confucius Bk 15 Ch 32

by Viviana Hampton, June 2014

300 words

1 page


Confucius Book 15 Chapter 32

Thesis: Confucius’ passage states that a man’s virtue is necessary for holding what he has attained with his knowledge. He is claiming that any ruler will not be respected by others in case he is unable to be a dignified man. Confucius adds that the governor cannot reach the full excellence if he moves the people “contrary to the rules of propriety” (Cofucius, 2012, P. 135).

Reasons: Provided that “a man’s knowledge is sufficient to attain” (Confucius, 2012, p.135) (as stated in all of the three cases provided by the philosopher), there are the following reasons for Confucius’ beliefs:

- one can gain anything, but if s/he lacks the virtue, s/he will inevitably lose the gained things sooner or later;

- one can have knowledge and virtue, but the absence of dignity will result in disrespect from the people;

- if a ruler strives to reach excellence, following the rules of propriety is a must (along with knowledge, virtue, and dignity).

Analysis: Confucius’ passage is about which features one needs to have in order to be an excellent governor. The passage is correct in a sense. It provides valuable information as to which features are supposed to be developed and improved in order to be knowledgeable, virtuous, dignified and respectable ruler. The philosopher’s reasons are good and it seems reasonable to assume that a perfect governor must have these features. In sum, I agree with the statement that knowledge, virtue, dignity and compliance with the rules of propriety are necessary for a governor. However, the author fails to consider other features that may turn out crucial depending on the circumstances that the governor find themselves in, and which may prove to be essential for state’s well-being. Besides, examples would contribute to prove the credence of Confucius’ theory.


Confucius. (2012). The Analects. Simon & …

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