Confucius

Confucius was a teacher, philosopher, and politician from which modern-day country?

And the answer is: China.

Photo courtesy: South China Morning Post. 

In the 6th and 5th century BCE, Confucius lived in what is now China. Over time, his ideas became central to Chinese culture and were adopted by various ruling dynasties. His ideas focused on love for humanity, worship of ancestors, respect for elders, and self-discipline.

In the warring states of 6th century China, Confucius was born. Growing up in poverty, the young philosopher worked odd jobs to support his family, all the while gathering an intimate sympathy for the suffering of the less fortunate. Only with the help of a wealthy friend was Confucius able to study at the Royal Archives, the site at which the philosopher's world view truly began to take shape. Inspired by the Archives' ancient texts, Confucius came to believe in the importance of family as it informs human character, as well as the importance of education in ritual, literature and history. Confucius believed that the correct way to lead others was moral inspiration, rather than (the popular alternative of) brute force.

To put his philosophy in practice, Confucius became a ruler of his home state of Lu. However, after feeling disrespected by the ruler's ignorance to his duties, Confucius began his long journey across China in search of a ruler worthy to serve. In accordance with his firm principles, Confucius managed to spread his gospel throughout nearby cities by dissuading rulers from relying on harsh punishments and military power to govern their lands.

Many of the morals that Confucius taught are easily recognizable today. Thanks to a book we know in English as The Analects, much of his prominent works persist today. Most notably, his version of the Golden Rule: "Do not inflict upon others that which you yourself would not want."

Learn more about the legend of this philosopher below.


Question of the Day Mobile App

Subscribe

Learn something new everyday. Get the Question of the Day delivered to your inbox each day!

The Richter Scale and More
The Caesar Salad
You've successfully subscribed to Question of the Day
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to Question of the Day
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.