Aristotle Vs Confucius

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It is commonly considered that Ancient Greek is the origin and center of civilization in Europe, and China holds a similar position in East Asia. Aristotle played a significant role for Ancient Greek, and Confucius is highly emphasized in Ancient China. Many may think the two philosophies will confront each other as Europe and Eastern Asia have dissimilar historical development. The two views do have undeniable different views, but they are also comparable and supporting each other in some sense. To better understand these similarities and differences, an understanding of the social backgrounds of the two philosophers is also essential. In The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle, Professor Anagnostopoulos has provided an introduction of Aristotle’s …show more content…
In Chapter IV of Book I, he first purposed, “What is the supreme good attainable in our actions? Well, so far the names goes there is pretty general statement. ‘It is happiness,’ say both intellectuals and the unsophisticated, meaning by ‘happiness’ living well or faring well”. Aristotle believed that, although different people in different situations may different desires by instinct, a total happiness still outranks because it match the general human goal to be self-sufficient. Given appropriate human actions lead to human happiness, people can be happy by follow reasoning and developing virtues in their life. Aristotle also pointed out this form of total happiness should be developed as a lifelong experience, not on a single day or …show more content…
In traditional Chinese, the status of being in between two extremes is named as “Zhong Yong”. Confucius thought “Zhong Yong” can be the best moral virtue, but it is not widely accepted at the period of time. “Zhong” and “Yong” both mean being in center and on the average, although when “Yong” used independently it may have some negative connotation. Confucius expressed similar story of a water container in temple. He told his students that the container is not balanced when the container is not full, and water in the container will spill when there is more than sufficient water (Xunzi & Hutton, 2016). The container will be only placed properly when there is a moderate amount of water. In addition, the second highest possible status only lower than “Zhong Yong”, in Confucius’ view is being both passionate and cautiously decided, as these traits will allow people want to be advanced for the future but also know not to pursuit the wrong

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