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Chinese Philosophical Texts

2. LÚN YŬ 論語 THE ANALECTS

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Translations

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 1.  D. C. Lau, tr., Confucius: The Analects (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1979)
2.  Arthur Waley, tr., The Analects of Confucius (New York: Random House, 1938)
3.  Simon Leys, tr., The Analects of Confucius (New York: Norton, 1997)
4.  Edward Slingerland, tr. Confucius: Analects (Indianapolis: Hackett, 2003)

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 Extracts

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 A.

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 2 1. 子曰:學而時習之,不亦說乎?

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 1 2. 有朋自遠方來, 不亦樂乎?

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 3. 人不知而不慍,不亦君子乎?

論 語 论 语 lún yŭ The Analects
master, teacher; you; a son, a child
yūe marks direct quotation
xúe to study; learning
ér conjunction for linking two verbal phrases (see “Particles and Grammar”)
shí time, season; timely, in time
to learn, to familiarize oneself with; habit, custom
zhī 1) direct object pronoun: “him, her, them, it,” 2) signals relation of modification, 3) this, 4) to go to (see “Particles and Grammar”)
negates verbs; “not” (see “Particles and Grammar”)
likewise; indeed
說=悅 yuè (loan) to delight, gratify; happy
sentence-final particle that creates an exclamation or a yes-no question, like the modern 嗎 ma (see “Particles and Grammar” on questions)
yǒu to have; there is
péng friend, companion (most importantly, those who share the same vision or moral commitments) ; group, clique
from; self
yuǎn distant; distance; to distance, etc.
fāng square; region; side; honest; occultism, technique (see Lesson 1)
lái to come; future
happiness, joy
yùe music
rén man, human being, person; the other, others
zhī to know; knowledge; to recognize or appreciate (talent or virtue); to control
yùn indignant; vexed; irritated; angry
jūn prince, ruler; you
君子 jūn zĭ son of a ruler, nobleman; true gentleman (ideal of the Confucian school)

8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 B.

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 1. 曾子曰:吾日三省吾身

10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 2. 為人謀而不忠乎?

11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 3. 與朋友交而不信乎?

12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 0 4. 傳不習乎?

曾子 zēng zĭ Master Zēng, one of Confucius’s disciples
first person pronoun, usually subject or possessive, “I, my” (see “Particles and Grammar”)
sun; day; daily
sān three
xǐng to examine, to introspect; to understand
shěng to save, to omit; economical, frugal; province
shēn self; in person; body
wèi for, on behalf of, on account of (see “Particles and Grammar”)
wéi to constitute, to become, to act as; to do; to make
móu to plan, to design; to scheme, to plot
zhōng loyal, “doing-one’s-best-for-others” (see Graham, p. 21)
with, together with, and; ally; to give
to take part in, participate
yǒu friend; to befriend; friendly, ally
jiāo to exchange, transfer, alternate, intersect, cross; to come into contact, meet; alliance
xìn to believe, to trust; good faith, trust; truly; honest
chuán to transmit, to hand down, to bequeath
zhuàn commentary; biography

13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0 C.

14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0 子曰: 溫故而知新, 可以為師矣。

wēn to review; to warm up, reheat; warm, gentle
old, ancient (= 古 ); cause, reason; purposely; therefore, consequently (see “Particles and Grammar”)
xīn new; to renew
suitable, proper; may, can (see “Particles and Grammar”)
to take; by means of; in order to (see “Particles and Grammar”)
以為 以为 yǐ wéi to take to be; to regard as; to transform into
shī teacher, master
final particle marking end of verbal sentence (see “Particles and Grammar”)

15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 0 D.

16 Leave a comment on paragraph 16 1 子曰:學而不思則罔,思而不學則殆。

to think, to ponder; to long for; thoughts
rule, regulation; then (see “Particles and Grammar”)
wăng a net; to deceive, cheat
dài dangerous, in peril; ruin; almost

17 Leave a comment on paragraph 17 0 E.

18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0 1. 子曰:參乎!

19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 2. 吾道一以貫之。

20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 0 3. 曾子曰:唯!

21 Leave a comment on paragraph 21 0 4. 子出,門人問曰:何謂也?

22 Leave a comment on paragraph 22 1 5. 曾子曰:夫子之道,忠恕而已矣。

shēn Master Zēng’s personal name; ginseng
cān to take part in ; complex form of the character 三 sān “three”
dào path, the Way; doctrine, teaching; to guide (= 導 dăo); to say
one
guàn a string for holding coins; to thread, pass through
wéi “yes”, “I agree” (used in direct speech or quotation)
chū to go out
mén gate, door; school (of thought); house, family
門人 门人 mén rén disciples
wèn to ask
interrogative particle that asks what? where? how? why? (see “Particles and Grammar”)
wèi to address, to call; to tell; to mean; meaning
final particle in a non-verbal sentence, usually marking a generalization, judgment, opinion. Here it is used for 邪 (also written 耶), which is a final interrogative particle similar to 乎 (see “Particles and Grammar”)
man, husband, master
initial particle indicating generalization or statement of certainty; this, that (see “Particles and Grammar”)
夫子 fū zĭ a master; a respectful title for a teacher
shù “likening-to-oneself”; compassion (see Graham, p. 20)
to stop; already
而已 ér yǐ set concluding phrase “and that is all”

23 Leave a comment on paragraph 23 0 F.

24 Leave a comment on paragraph 24 0 1. 子貢問政。

25 Leave a comment on paragraph 25 0 2. 子曰:足食,足兵,民信之矣。

26 Leave a comment on paragraph 26 0 3. 子貢曰:必不得已而去,於斯三者何先?

27 Leave a comment on paragraph 27 0 4. 曰:去兵。

28 Leave a comment on paragraph 28 0 5. 子貢曰:必不得已而去,於斯二者何先?

29 Leave a comment on paragraph 29 0 6. 曰:去食。

30 Leave a comment on paragraph 30 0 7. 自古皆有死,民無信不立。

子貢 子贡 zǐ gòng Master Gòng, one of Confucius’s disciples
zhèng government
sufficient, ample; the feet, legs
shí food; to eat (see Lesson 1)
to feed
bīng weapons; troops; military
mín the (common) people
have to, must; certainly; inevitably (see “Particles and Grammar”)
to obtain, to get; to be able to (see “Particles and Grammar”)
不得已 bù dé yǐ “not able to stop”; to have no alternative
to depart; to cause to depart, to eliminate
general-purpose preposition of location; to relate to; relation; marker of comparisons (see “Particles and Grammar”)
this, these (= 此 )
zhě converts a verbal phrase into a noun phrase; indicates a class of people or things; sets off topic from rest of sentence (see “Particles and Grammar”)
xīan first, previous, before; to precede; earlier time
èr two
from, since; self; personally
ancient, old; ancient times
jiē all, everybody, in every case
death; to die
to not have; to be absent (see “Particles and Grammar”)
to stand; to set up, to establish

PARTICLES AND GRAMMAR

32 Leave a comment on paragraph 32 1 a.  Major Particles

33 Leave a comment on paragraph 33 0 1.  而 ér

34 Leave a comment on paragraph 34 0 This is one of the most common words in classical Chinese.  It links phrases, not nouns. “And” or “but” is often a satisfactory translation.  However, often the phrase preceding 而 is subordinate, so it should be translated as a participle indicating modification.  Thus, in the first sentence of the Mencius, the King of Liáng says 不遠千里而來 “[You] came, not considering a thousand miles too far.”  In such cases the first phrase describes a condition or background to the second, as in the English sentence “Peter, fully knowing the danger, entered the room.”  In other cases the two phrases are co-ordinate, and the second phrase simply narrates what follows (from) the first.

35 Leave a comment on paragraph 35 0 2.  之 zhī

36 Leave a comment on paragraph 36 0 This particle, also one of the commonest words in classical Chinese, has two major uses, both of which appear in the extracts, and two minor uses.  The first major use is as an object pronoun.  It can be used only as an object, and it can be translated by any English object pronoun: “her, him, them, it.”  Thus 習之 “becomes familiar with [or ‘masters’] it,” 友之 “befriends him.”  The appropriate English equivalent will usually be indicated by the context.

37 Leave a comment on paragraph 37 0 In the second major use of this particle, the character or phrase that precedes 之 is a subordinate modifier of the character or phrase that follows it.  It is usually best translated by the preposition “of” or one of the subordinating conjunctions “who, which, that.”  Thus 夫子之道 “the Way of the Master,” 為朋友謀之人 “the man who makes plans for his friends.”  In this function it is much like the modern Chinese 的 de.  It is important to note that whatever follows the 之 must be treated as a noun, thus 曾子之學 “the studying [or ‘learning’] of Master Zēng,” or 王之不王 “the king’s not being [‘acting as’] a king,” 民之多於鄰國 “the people’s being more numerous (多 duō) than those of neighboring (鄰 lín) states (國 guó).”

38 Leave a comment on paragraph 38 0 In its minor uses 之 can function as the demonstrative adjective “this” or as a verb “to go to” (perhaps related to the homophonous 至 zhì).

39 Leave a comment on paragraph 39 0 3.  為 wèi/wéi

40 Leave a comment on paragraph 40 0 When this character acts as a particle it is read in the fourth tone; it then means “for the sake of, on behalf of, for.”  Thus 吾為子先行 “I will, for your sake, go (行 xíng) first,” 王必為民足食 “The king (王 wáng) must, for the sake of his people, make the food sufficient.”

41 Leave a comment on paragraph 41 0 It can also be read in the second tone, in which case it functions as a verb meaning “to act as, to play the role of” or “to make, to contrive.”  This verb can often be translated by the English verb “to be,” but it is not strictly a copula.  Thus 天為人君 “Heaven acts as the ruler of men,” could be translated “Heaven is the ruler of men.” 為之者人也 “The one who does it [or ‘makes it’] is man.”  This verb is closely related to the homophonous 偽 wèi “artificial, contrived.”

42 Leave a comment on paragraph 42 0 4.  故

43 Leave a comment on paragraph 43 0 This character is essentially a noun meaning “cause, reason.”  From this core sense it came to function as a conjunction with the sense of  “for this reason, as a consequence, therefore.”  A similar meaning is also expressed in the phrase 是故 “[for] this reason.”

44 Leave a comment on paragraph 44 0 5.  可

45 Leave a comment on paragraph 45 0 This character functions independently as a verb meaning “to be proper or suitable.”  As a modal, it indicates that the verb immediately following it is proper, allowable, or possible.  Thus 可道 kĕ dào “can be treated as the Way, can be followed (as a doctrine),” 可交 kě jiāo “can be in [social] contact with,” 可出 kĕ chū “it is appropriate to go out.”  In a double negative, it can express necessity, thus 不可不 “cannot not, i.e., must.”  The phrase 可以 can generally be translated into English as “can, may” and it survives as a word in modern Chinese.  Its original sense was probably something like “bears taking up + verb.”

46 Leave a comment on paragraph 46 0 6.  以

47 Leave a comment on paragraph 47 0 This character was originally a verb meaning “to take, to take up, to grab onto.”  Thus “X 以 noun verb” would mean “X takes or grasps the noun and verbs,” hence “X uses noun to verb.”  Thus 以口言 “speaks with the mouth (口 kŏu),” or 以心知 “knows with the heart/mind (心 xīn).”

48 Leave a comment on paragraph 48 0 以 also precedes verbs, in which case it usually acts as a conjunction meaning “in order to.” Thus 出門以見日 “to go out the door in order to see (見 jiàn) the sun,” 溫古以習之 “to review ancient times in order to become familiar with them.”

49 Leave a comment on paragraph 49 0 One of the most common uses of 以 is in the phrase 以為 “to take and make, take and use as, take and regard as.”  This phrase can also be divided to form 以 A 為 B, “to take A and make it into B, use it as B, regard it as B.”  As the translations suggest, this action can be either physical—to take some object or substance and make it into something—or mental—to regard something as being something else.  Thus 以木為門 “to take wood (木 ) and make a gate,” 王以天下為家 “The king regards the whole world (天下 tiān xià) as his household (家 jiā),” 孔子以國為小 “Confucius considered the state to be small (小 xiăo),” 吾以為子不知之 “I thought that you didn’t know it.”  This use of 以為, both as a unit and as separate words, is still common in modern Chinese.

50 Leave a comment on paragraph 50 0 以 also appears in a variety of common phrases such as 是以 “by means of this, for this reason,”  何以 “by means of what, how” and 無以 “to not have the means to.”

51 Leave a comment on paragraph 51 0 7.  於

52 Leave a comment on paragraph 52 0 This particle, as briefly discussed in Lesson 1, functions as a general-purpose preposition of location (meaning “in,” “on,” “at,” “among,” etc.) and direction (meaning “to,” “towards,” “from,” etc.).  Thus 於此三者 “among these three things,” 子出於室 “The master went out from the room (室 shì),” 王死於此樹之下 “The king died (死 ) beneath this tree (樹 shù).”

53 Leave a comment on paragraph 53 0 Another common use of this character is to form comparisons such as “greater than,” “smaller than,” “more expensive than,” etc.  The standard formula is “A + adjective (stative verb) + 於 + B.”  Thus 馬快於人 “Horses (馬 ) are faster (快 kuài) than men,” 父大於子 “The father (父 ) is bigger than his son,” 石重於花 “Stones (石 shí) are heavier (重 zhòng) than flowers (花 huā),” etc.

54 Leave a comment on paragraph 54 0 It is clear that in these various uses 於 merely indicates the existence of a relationship—location, direction, comparison—between the surrounding characters, the precise nature of which is made clear by the context.  In fact, 於 as a preposition was probably derived from the weakening of a verb meaning “to relate to” and this origin is preserved in its nominal form in the phrase “A + 之於 + B,” “the relation of A to B.”

55 Leave a comment on paragraph 55 0 8.  者 zhě

56 Leave a comment on paragraph 56 0 This character generally serves to convert a verb or verbal phrase into a noun phrase with the sense either of  “the one who . . . ,” “those who . . . ,” or as a gerund “verb + ing.”  Thus 謀者 “the one who plots,” or “plotting,” 學而時習之者 “the one who studies and in time masters it,” or “studying and in time mastering it.”  It also serves to separate a topic from the rest of the sentence, thus 孔子者曾子之師也 “As for Confucius (孔子 Kŏngzĭ), he is Master Zēng’s teacher.”   It is also often used in giving definitions, which follow the formula “Noun phrase 者 + definition + 也.”  Thus 天子者天下之君也 “[The phrase] ‘Son of Heaven’ means the ruler of the whole world.”

57 Leave a comment on paragraph 57 0 b.  Grammar Notes

58 Leave a comment on paragraph 58 0 1.  Conjunctions

59 Leave a comment on paragraph 59 0 In these extracts we have encountered three major particles that serve to link sentences together: 而,則,故.  The first always links verbal phrases and generally indicates the subordination of the first to the second.  The second indicates that the second phrase is the logical or empirical consequence of the first, usually translated by the English “then.”  The last, along with related phrases such as 是故 and 是以, acts like the English “therefore.”

60 Leave a comment on paragraph 60 0 2.  Negatives

61 Leave a comment on paragraph 61 0 Negative sentences in Chinese are indicated by the addition of a negative particle.  There are a number of these, two of which have been introduced.  不 serves to negate verbs and stative adjectives (adjectives functioning as verbs).  Whatever follows 不 in the sentence must be treated as a verb.  無 means “[subject] does not have” or “there is not.”  It is the antonym of 有.  It appears in such phrases as 無. . .者  “there are not those who . . . ,”  i.e., “no one,” “nothing,” “none”; 無以 “not have the means to”; or 無不 “there are none who do not,” i.e., “all, every.”

62 Leave a comment on paragraph 62 0 3.  Modals

63 Leave a comment on paragraph 63 0 Modals in Chinese are formed by the addition of characters indicating that the following verb action is necessary, possible, or desired.  These extracts have included characters that indicate the first two senses.  Necessity is expressed by the insertion of the character 必 or double negatives such as 不可不 or 不得不 before the verb.  The phrase 不得已 “not able to stop”, i.e., to have no alternative, also indicates necessity.

64 Leave a comment on paragraph 64 0 Possibility is expressed by the use of various verbs that originally had different senses but gradually blurred together.  The major modal verbs of possibility are 可,得 and (not yet encountered in the extracts) 能 néng. In many sentences these can be interchangeably translated by the English “can” or “may,” but they had different original senses, and these remain operative in some contexts.  Thus 可 meant that something was suitable or proper, and it often has the sense that something is not merely possible but that it should be done, that it is normative.  能, on the other hand, indicated capability, thus a 能者 was a talented or capable person.  得 meant “to get” or “to obtain,” and its use as a modal of possibility probably derived from the sense of obtaining the occasion, opportunity, or conditions that made something possible.

65 Leave a comment on paragraph 65 0 The character 足, in its sense of “sufficient” or “worthy,” also can function as a modal in phrases such as 不足言 “not worth talking about,” 不足貴 “not worth valuing (or ‘honoring’),” i.e., “of no value,” 不足問 “not worth asking about,” etc.  Note that it is more common in this negative sense.

66 Leave a comment on paragraph 66 0 Several modals that indicate desire will appear in later extracts.

67 Leave a comment on paragraph 67 0 4.  “If . . . then . . .” sentences

68 Leave a comment on paragraph 68 0 In Chinese, particles are almost invariably optional, so while there are characters that indicate the sense “if” and the sense “then,” it is not unusual for sentences to omit one or both of these.  Thus “if . . . then…” sentences in Chinese could be written as two seemingly independent phrases where the relation of dependence is purely contextual (like the English “Spare the rod, spoil the child.”).  Thus 民無信不立 “[If] the people do not have trust, [then] [government] will not be established.”  Alternatively, the author can put the conjunction 則 before the second phrase to indicate “then,” while the earlier sense of “if” is left implicit.  Thus 學而不思則罔 “[If] one studies but does not think, then one is netted [trapped].”  In the case of 民無信不立, the direct parallel of the verb + object / verb + object structure probably makes any particle unnecessary.  The author might also include characters explicitly indicating the sense of “if,” and some of these will appear in later extracts.

69 Leave a comment on paragraph 69 0 5.  Questions

70 Leave a comment on paragraph 70 0 There are two basic forms of questions in classical Chinese: 1) questions indicated by a sentence-final particle, 2) questions formed by a particle at the beginning of a sentence or between the subject and the verb.  The first type of sentence forms a “yes-or-no” question.  The second functions like English sentences using such question words as “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” “why” or “how”; it asks for further information.  The most common sentence final particles are 乎 and 邪 (耶).  These are placed at the end of a declarative sentence, which then becomes a yes-or-no question.  In this way, they function like the modern Chinese 嗎 ma.  Thus 山大 “The mountain (山 shān) is big,” would become 山大乎 “Is the mountain big (yes or no)?”  邪 is more common in rhetorical questions, i.e., questions that are not really seeking information but are rhetorical forms of emphasizing an assertion, e.g., “How could you be so clumsy?”  There are other characters, such as 為 and 與, which also function as sentence-final question particles, but such uses of these characters are rare.

71 Leave a comment on paragraph 71 0 The most common sentence-initial particle is 何.  This can be translated by any of the English question words listed above, and the appropriate translation will be derived from the context.  Thus, in Extract E, Sentence #2, Confucius made a cryptic assertion, and in Sentence #3 Master Zēng expressed his agreement. In Sentence #4, when the other disciples ask 何謂, the sense is clearly “What did he mean?” (not, for example, “When did he address?”)  There are other characters that act much like 何, and some of these will appear in later extracts.

72 Leave a comment on paragraph 72 0 Although I have called 何 a sentence-initial particle, there is one pattern in which it will appear at the end of the sentence.  In this pattern the author will describe a situation, make an implied pause, and then add the character 何.  In such a pattern the author asks how or why the situation he has just described exists.  Thus 學而不習之,何(邪)?  “[He] studies but does not master it, why is this?”

73 Leave a comment on paragraph 73 0 6.  Sentence-initial and sentence-final particles

74 Leave a comment on paragraph 74 0 Question words were not the only particles that marked breaks between sentences.  Because classical Chinese was traditionally not punctuated, it was common to begin or end a sentence with a character that would mark the break and also suggest something of the meaning of the sentence.  The most common sentence-initial particle is 夫, which usually precedes sentences intended to be generalizations or universals.  It can also be a sentence-final particle expressing regret (see Extract A, sentence #6 in the Mengzi), and some scholars believe that it is a fusion (like the English “do” + “not” forming “don’t”) of 不乎 bu hu, which would mean “.  .  .  is it not?” (See Edwin G. Pulleyblank Outline of Classical Chinese Grammar, p. 17.) There are two common sentence-final particles: 也 and 矣.  In general, the former tends to appear in assertions of states of being or in the pronouncement of judgments, while the latter tends to appear in sentences dealing with particular events or changes.  However, this distinction is by no means absolute, and it is often difficult to decide why the author chose one over the other.  One of the most common uses of 也 is to function in lieu of the copula (“to be”), for which there is no classical Chinese equivalent.  The standard way to say “A is B” in classical Chinese is “A B 也.”  Thus 孔子師也 “Confucius is a teacher.”  也 also serves to separate the topic from the rest of the sentence, much like 者.  Thus 王之於國也無信 “As for the relation of the king to the state, there is no trust.”

75 Leave a comment on paragraph 75 0 7.  Pronouns

76 Leave a comment on paragraph 76 0 There are first and second person pronouns in classical Chinese, but they are not used as frequently as in English.  (The third person pronoun 之 appears exclusively as an object.)  Instead, they are often replaced by terms indicating status.  Thus while the first person pronouns 吾 and 我 exist, the most common means of self reference for a man is 臣 chén “[your] servant, slave” and for a woman 妾 qiè “[your] concubine, handmaiden.”  Rulers had special terms of self-reference that they alone could use.  Likewise, the second-person pronouns, which will appear in later extracts, are not used as commonly as 子 “[my] master” or 君 “[my] prince.”

TRANSLATION AND COMMENTARY

78 Leave a comment on paragraph 78 0 A.  1. The Master said, “To study and in time [or ‘in due season’] to master it, is this not indeed joy?  2. To have friends come from far away, is this not indeed happiness?  3. If others do not appreciate him and he is not resentful, is he not a true gentleman?”

79 Leave a comment on paragraph 79 0 Note that the three sentences form a triad. This pattern is very common in the Lún yŭ; it often builds to a climax, with the third element being the most important. The three sentences, which are structurally identical, are linked by the common theme of knowledge/recognition: true mastery of what is studied, true recognition of another’s character, true knowledge of self-worth. The emphasis on the time needed for study and the distance from which true friends come also points toward the culmination in the character of the “true gentleman,” who knows how to wait for the proper time and the proper company. This is the opening passage of the received version of the Lún yŭ and announces many of its major themes: the importance of study, the central role of the fellowship of kindred spirits, the need to await the proper time, and the ideal of the gentleman.

80 Leave a comment on paragraph 80 0 In terms of grammar, note that the subject is never stated.  This is very common in classical Chinese.  Here the absence of a subject probably serves to suggest that the sentences should apply to any person.  The repeated absence of a subject serves as a useful grammatical clue here, because it lets us know that the character 人 is not the subject of Sentence #3, but an element of the first part of the predicate demarcated by the character 而.  Hence it is correctly translated as above, and not as “If people, not knowing, are not resentful, are they not true gentlemen?”

81 Leave a comment on paragraph 81 0 B.  1. Master Zēng said, “Daily I examine myself in three [things]. 2. In planning for others, do I not exert myself to the full for them?  3. In dealings with my friends, am I untrustworthy?  4. Do I transmit [‘teach’] what I have not mastered?”

82 Leave a comment on paragraph 82 0 This is another triad.  The last sentence could in theory be read “As for transmitted [knowledge], have I not mastered [‘studied’] it?”  However, this does not fit with the preceding two sentences in the triad, which must be linked by some common theme. As translated above, all the sentences have to do with dealings with others, and in each case with a fullness or sincerity(誠 chéng a central virtue in certain versions of early Confucianism) in one’s actions.  Thus each question demands a total devotion to the other party when acting as their minister, friend, or teacher.  This extract pursues some of the same themes as Extract A (study, fellowship) with the addition of a political element.

83 Leave a comment on paragraph 83 0 As for grammar, Sentence #1 features a simple subject + verb + object structure, with the addition of two adverbs (日,三).  These are clearly marked by their position between the subject and the verb. In Sentence #2, that the character 為 is to be read wèi “for, on behalf of” is demonstrated by its parallelism with 與 “together with” in Sentence #3.  Thus the first two sentences of the triad, Sentences #2 and #3, are parallel, each of their first halves (the part before the 而) consisting of “preposition” + noun + verb.

84 Leave a comment on paragraph 84 0 C.  The Master said, “To review [lit. ‘warm up’] the old and understand the new, one can by means of these act as a teacher.”

85 Leave a comment on paragraph 85 0 This announces a basic attitude to the past.  Knowledge of earlier times is necessary, but cannot be determinative.  There is always the need to change, but change in a manner that is grounded in knowledge of the existing world.  The importance of the teacher is also marked here.  Note the use of the verb 溫.  The “old” or “ancient” is equated with the dead, and the scholar brings it back to life.  The character 故 later was used in China to mean “deceased.”  Given that the phrase preceding 而 often describes a background condition, this sentence could also be read “In reviewing the old to understand the new . . .” The use of the character 以 preceding a verb to mean “thereby” is very common.  The object or practice which one employs in order to carry out the following verb is indicated in the preceding phrase.

86 Leave a comment on paragraph 86 0 D.  The Master said, “If one studies and does not think, then one is [caught in] a net.  If one thinks without studying, then one is in peril.”

87 Leave a comment on paragraph 87 0 This extract makes a point similar to that of Extract C with grace and economy.  Two parallel phrases, in which one pair of characters (學, 思) is reversed and one substitution made, deliver a pointed message on the need to balance study (of the established) with creative thought.  The image of the net is quite graphic.  The translation loses something of the sense of the character 殆, which is specifically the peril of being in a high, precarious position (probably related to the meaning of the phonetic element 台 tái “tower”).  It is the absence of any foundation provided by study that makes unaided thought 殆.

88 Leave a comment on paragraph 88 0 Confucius acknowledged the importance of both learning (from texts, teachers, and tradition) and thinking (i.e., exercising one’s own cognitive capacities). The balance between the two became a major issue that divided Confucians over the next two millennia. (See P. J. Ivanhoe, Confucian Moral Self Cultivation, for a survey of the debates.)

89 Leave a comment on paragraph 89 2 E.  1. The Master [Confucius] said, “Oh, Shēn!  2. As for my Way, there is one thing with which we can thread it together.”  3. Master Zēng said, “Yes.”  4. When the Master went out, the disciples asked, “What did he mean?”  5. Master Zēng said, “As for the Master’s Way, it is ‘doing-one’s-best-for-others’ and ‘likening-others-to-oneself’ and that is all.”

90 Leave a comment on paragraph 90 0 We have several levels of argument working here.  First, there is the explicit message delivered by Master Zēng at the end:  all of the Master’s diverse teachings are based on a total devotion to others and treating them as equal to oneself.  Second, we have the message enacted in the story.  Confucius addresses himself to one disciple, and the Master expects that this disciple will understand without being explicitly told.  The other disciples, being less gifted, must have it spelled out.  This is an important theme throughout the Lún yŭ: the best student is the one who can think for himself and only needs a nudge or a hint, and true teaching does not explicitly communicate ideas or information but stirs the student to work out the truth for himself.  It is also worth noting that since the text was composed by disciples (and disciples of disciples) various stories will take different disciples as the “hero.”  These anecdotes presumably reflect struggles between various groups of followers to claim their particular “founder” as the disciple closest to the Master.  Finally, while in some sense celebrating Master Zēng, the story also hints at his limitations.  The Master teaches with hints and allusions to push others to think, but Master Zēng is happy to show off his own intelligence by delivering explicit doctrine.  We may or may not accept his explanation of the Master’s message; it is, if not undercut, at least called into question by the structure of the story.   The overarching “message” of this story reflects the structure of the whole book.  The Master remains silent or offers suggestions while his ideas come to us through accounts by his disciples.

91 Leave a comment on paragraph 91 1 The use of 以 in Sentence #2 is again “thereby.”  If one treated the first three characters of this sentence as subject + verb, rather than pre-posed topic + verb, the sentence could be translated as “My Way is one [united], and thereby we thread it together.”  However, this is not really coherent, because the fact of unity is not the means that would draw arguments together, but rather the consequence of their being drawn together.  Also, by translating the sentence in the manner adopted in the translation, Sentence #5 becomes an elaborated paraphrase of the first, where 夫子之道 is the equivalent of 吾道, and 忠恕而已矣 substitutes for 一以貫之.  In this way the “answer” stands directly parallel to the phrase/riddle of which it is the elucidation.  In Sentence #5 the use of the final particle 矣 is worth noting.  The structure of this sentence is “subject = predicate” (“the Way of the Master = doing-one’s-best . . .”) and could be marked by a final 也.  Instead we have 矣, which generally follows verbs and marks completed action, like the modern 了le. This particle thus clearly applies only to the verb 已 “to end” and not to the whole sentence.

92 Leave a comment on paragraph 92 0 For a discussion of several efforts to interpret this passage, see B. W. Van Norden, “Unweaving the ‘One Thread’ of Analects 4:15,” in Confucius and the Analects: New Essays, ed. B. W. Van Norden.

93 Leave a comment on paragraph 93 0 F.  1. Master Gòng asked about government.  2. The Master [Confucius] said, “Enough food, enough weapons, and the people believing in it.”  3. Master Gòng said, “If it certainly could not be helped and you had to eliminate [something], among these three which would be first?”  4. [Confucius] said, “Eliminate the weapons.”  5. Master Gòng said, “If it certainly could not be helped and you had to eliminate [something], among the [remaining] two which would be first?”  6. [Confucius] said, “Eliminate the food.  7. Since ancient times everyone has had a death, but if the people have no trust, then they [or ‘it,’ i.e., the government] are not established.”

94 Leave a comment on paragraph 94 0 This extract is again a triad.  The first two elements (食, 兵) correspond to the foundations of the emerging Warring State polity:  agriculture and warfare.  They would be central to the “legalist” theory of the state and its actual fiscal structure.  The “Confucian” element here is the insistence on the priority of trust or faith (信).  This is a precondition to any human relationship and thus to the possibility of any social order.  Hence it is polemically more important than the weapons or grain that would be the foundational elements for the theorists who treat the institutions of the state as fundamental.  The material elements of human existence and state power are important in the Confucian scheme, but never granted supreme importance, which is reserved for the virtues that underpin human sociability.  Grain and weapons are the utensils (器 ), indeed the metonyms, of life and death.  But since death is inevitable in any case, they cannot be the ultimate values.  The ultimate role of government or the sage is to establish an order that goes beyond individual life or death.  In a sense, the priority of 信 is already marked in the first answer, in Sentence #2, by virtue of its placement in the climactic third position and by the inclusion of the 之, referring to “government,” as its object.  In Sentence #1 note that “問 + object” means “asked about (the object).” In Sentence #3 the adverb 必 seems to apply across the 而 to both the modal 得 and the final 去. In Sentence #7 there may be a pun in the final 立, which can mean “to stand” as well as “to establish.”  Hence there is an implication that people cannot live (“stand”) without trust or faith, playing off the mention of death in the preceding phrase.   Moreover, 立 is often used as a homophone gloss for 禮 “ritual,” which is the most important guide for correct action in the Confucian tradition.

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Source: https://web.stanford.edu/group/chinesetexts/cgi-bin/site/2-lun-yu-%E8%AB%96%E8%AA%9E-the-analects/