Confucius (/kənˈfjʃəs/ kən-FEW-shəs; Chinese: ; pinyin: Kǒng Fūzǐ, "Master Kǒng"; or commonly ; Kǒngzǐ; c.551c.479 BCE) was a Chinese philosopher and politician of the Spring and Autumn period who is traditionally considered the paragon of Chinese sages. Confucius's teachings and philosophy underpin East Asian culture and society, remaining influential across China and East Asia to this day.[24]

Imaginary portrait by Wu Daozi (685–758), Tang dynasty
Kǒng Qiū

c.551 BCE
Zou, State of Lu
(modern-day Nanxin [zh], Qufu, Shandong, China)
Diedc.479 BCE (aged 71–72)
Resting placeCemetery of Confucius, State of Lu
EraHundred Schools of Thought
(Ancient philosophy)
RegionChinese philosophy
Notable studentsYan Hui, Zengzi
Disciples of Confucius
Main interests
Ethics, education, music,[1] poetry,[2] political philosophy, Social philosophy
Notable ideas
Confucianism, Golden Rule
"Confucius (Kǒngzǐ)" in seal script (top) and regular (bottom) Chinese characters
Chinese name
Hanyu PinyinKǒngzǐ
Literal meaning"Master Kǒng"
Kong Qiu
Hanyu PinyinKǒng Qiū

Confucius considered himself a transmitter for the values of earlier periods which he claimed had been abandoned in his time. His philosophical teachings, called Confucianism, emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice, kindness, and sincerity. His followers competed with many other schools during the Hundred Schools of Thought era, only to be suppressed in favor of the Legalists during the Qin dynasty. Following the victory of Han over Chu after the collapse of Qin, Confucius's thoughts received official sanction in the new government. During the Tang and Song dynasties, Confucianism developed into a system known in the West as Neo-Confucianism, and later as New Confucianism. Confucianism was part of the Chinese social fabric and way of life; to Confucians, everyday life was the arena of religion.[25]

Confucius is traditionally credited with having authored or edited many of the Chinese classic texts, including all of the Five Classics, but modern scholars are cautious of attributing specific assertions to Confucius himself. Aphorisms concerning his teachings were compiled in the Analects, but only many years after his death.

Confucius's principles have commonality with Chinese tradition and belief. With filial piety, he championed strong family loyalty, ancestor veneration, and respect of elders by their children and of husbands by their wives, recommending family as a basis for ideal government. He espoused the well-known principle "Do not do unto others what you do not want done to yourself", the Golden Rule.

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