What is Ultimate reality/the ground/the first principle? e.g. notions of tian (heaven)/dao (the Way)

Guide to first short paper

Basically, your paper should systematically presentKongzi’s ideas, as recorded in the Analects, on the following issues:

  1. What is Ultimate reality/the ground/the first principle? e.g., notions of tian (heaven)/dao (the Way)
  2. What is Humanity? e.g., What is human nature? How does Kongzi define a good person? How should a person cultivate oneself?  What is the ultimate goal in life?  What are some of the cardinal virtues of a person?
  3. Society/community/culture: e.g., What are Kongzi’s conceptions and definitions of ethics (What should one do?) and morals (What is my responsibility to others?)—can li (rituals/ritual order) be regarded as an expression of his ethics and morals? What are his views on government? In what ways does his political philosophy relate to his ethics?
  4. The Past: e.g., How does Kongzi view history?  What is the role of the past (including the ancient sage-kings) in his thinking?  How does he view the Zhou dynasty, for instance?
  5. Nature: e.g., What does Kongzi have to say about nature? (You will not find too much information on this issue, as Kongzi does not talk about it directly much.)
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