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Confucius

founder prince takes philosophy

Confucius (551–479 B.C.), Chinese philosopher and sage, founder of Confucianism, the great moral and religious system of China. He began teaching at age 20, gathering about him a group of disciples. During the next 30 years he evolved the code of “right living” that was the basis of his philosophy. The ruling prince of the state of Lu appointed him magistrate of the city of Chang-tu, where Confucius put his principles into effect with great success. But he fell out of favor with the succeeding prince and for 13 years wandered with his followers, vainly seeking a patron and someone he could train as his “model ruler.” Confucius's sayings and the most reliable information about his life are preserved in the Confucian Analects, compiled by his disciples shortly after his death. Although Confucius takes his place beside Gautama Buddha, Jesus, and Mohammed as founder of one of the world's great religions, he differs from them in being a rationalist who takes no account of mysticism or spirituality. His philosophy of human relationships, based on the golden rule “What you do not wish done to yourself, do not do to others,” is essentially an appeal to reason and humanity.

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