Saturday, October 6, 2012

Greek Philosophy and Confucian Philosophy

To me the Greek concept of syphroceny (everything in moderation) is similar to the Way (following the natural and moral order of the world).  Like Grant points out, ideal relationships are balanced, whether it be relationships between people (husband to wife, friend to friend, ect.) or between objects (jewel for a fruit are not equal in economic value but they both send the same message of love). Confucius warns his students to revere the gods and keep distance from them at the same time. Also, I read in a book called Classic Asian Philosophy, that says that Confucius, Plato and Aristotle shared an emphasis on “inner satisfaction with one’s own virtue.”  Also another connection the  book makes between Plato, Aristotle and Confucius, is that they believe that a genuinely virtuous person will rise above temptation and do the right thing in an ethical dilemma, no matter how difficult it is.  Did these philosophies develop COMPLETELY independently of each other? What’s up with the similarities? 


Michell D said...

I think that many of the greatest philosophies in history share these common values. The most revered philosophies usually are not dramatic in either way and preach moderation. In my opinion there is no "one way" to live life, however if there were, it would seem that "the way" would have these core principals. Confucius, Plato, and other philosophers spent their entire lives coming up with these general guidelines so there has to be some truth to them. (Not there is necessarily any truth to any one philosophy.) in summation, I think these schools of thought share a common thread because they are widely accepted as a good and morraly straight way to live,

Ben Bonner said...

I agree with Mitchell. I think that the concepts of balance and inner satisfaction are rather archetypal values that can be found across cultures and at various times (with the notable exception of modern American consumerism). One possible influence though could be the introduction of Buddhism. It is my understanding that while Buddhism wasn't widely introduced in China until several centuries later, Confucianism and Buddhism began to develop around the same time. So there could have been some exchange of ideas, and the concept of the Middle Way seems to resonate with much of Confucian philosophy.