A Critique of Confucian Learning: On Learners and Knowledge

Educational Philosophy and Theory 48 (1):85-96 (2016)

In Confucianism, the subject of learning is one of the most important concerns. For centuries, Confucian thinkers have been devoted to seeking answers to questions such as, how to be a morally noble and decent human being?, how to be a true and moral human being—a noble man? and how to learn to be a junzi? A ‘junzi’ can be described as ‘an ideal person’. For Confucian thinkers, the concept of learning is not only an epistemological problem but also, or perhaps more importantly, an ethical one. Confucian learning can be defined as a particular process of obtaining a certain knowledge in order to become a junzi. The aim of this article is to first introduce the Confucian hierarchy of learning and knowledge. Next, the typology of Confucian knowledge and learners is considered. The author makes a critical enquiry into the Confucian epistemology, and by doing so, attempts to reveal implied limitations and weaknesses. In the final section, the author argues that the Confucian classical text Li Ji revises, in part, the Confucius’ hierarchical view of learner and knowledge.
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DOI 10.1080/00131857.2015.1084220
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References found in this work BETA

Confucian Moral Self Cultivation.Philip J. Ivanhoe - 2000 - Hackett Publishing Company.
Confucian Moral Self Cultivation.Richard Garner & Philip J. Ivanhoe - 1999 - Philosophy East and West 49 (4):533.
Confucian Thought: Selfhood as Creative Transformation.Weiming Tu - 1985 - State University of New York Press.
Self-Transformation and Civil Society: Lockean Vs. Confucian.Kim Sungmoon - 2009 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 8 (4):383-401.

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Confucius’s View of Learning.Yuanbiao Lin - 2017 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 50 (13):1180-1191.

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