Confucius’ Thoughts on Moral Education in China

Yuhan XIE, Chen GE


Confucius was the greatest philosopher and educator in Chinese history. His words and thoughts were recorded in the book The Analects of Confucius by his disciples. This paper mainly introduces Confucius’ thoughts on moral education from three aspects: goal, main contents, and teaching methods. According to Confucius, cultivating a completely virtuous person (‘Junzi’) is the goal of moral education. The idea of benevolence (‘Ren’) is regarded as the core of Confucius’ moral thoughts and the idea of etiquette (‘Li’) is the external form of ‘Ren’. Both of them are main contents of Confucius’ moral education. There are several teaching methods in Confucius’ moral education, such as self-cultivating, individual instruction, enlightening and practice, which are described in this paper. Furthermore, some inspirations which are obtained from Confucius’ moral educational thoughts provide significant reference for contemporary education in China.



Confucius’ thoughts; Moral education; Junzi; Ren; Li

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