Live Like a Confucian Week

Monday, October 17 – Sunday, October 23, 2022

Live Like a Confucian Week

Over the next seven days you will be putting some of Mengzis and Xunzis views of the good life into practice. The main goal is to engage in intentional work and then reflection on specific steps that Confucians teach. On each day of the week you will be assigned a particular activity to complete. Some of these activities will ask you to complete a task, reflect on a few questions, or engage in a thought experiment. Others will involve cultivating habits, changing your behavior with others in a certain way, or going about your everyday routine a little differently.

All of the philosophical exercises for this week are located on this page and you will need to complete them daily. This will consist of two steps:

  1. At the start of each day in the morning, you should read the assigned exercises and carry them out—you can keep this assignment open on your phone throughout the day for easy access.
  2. At the end of each day in the evening, you should submit in the designated dropbox a short private journal entry (1-2 paragraphs, about 250 words) on what you’ve learned.

Class periods and dialogue sessions that occur during the week will involve discussing and working on your exercises individually or in groups. 

Readings for the assigned exercises and evening reflections this week are drawn from:

  • The Essential Mengzi: Selected Passages with Traditional Commentary, translated by Bryan Van Norden (Hackett, 2009)
  • Xunzi: The Complete Text, translated by Eric Hutton (Princeton University Press, 2016)
  • The Essential Analects: Selected Passages with Traditional Commentary, translated by Edward Slingerland (Hackett, 2006)