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Confucius and the Five? Constant Virtues


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I've been reading some of Confucian material for a while now, after getting turned to his ideals in a philosophy class. Many times I've read reference to his five virtues, but even after weeks of researching, I have been unable to come up with anything consistently accurate. And was it not Mencius that first made these concrete?

Anyway, what I'm trying to find is this: The traditional Chinese virtue symbols, in order, as well as at least a loose translation and the pinyin. I've come up with a couple of possibilities so far, but all the date I've been able to locate thus far has been extremely contradictive. :-?

For a while, I'd have bet this was correct, but after reading some other stuff, I'm not so certain: 仁 義 禮 智 信

That would be (if I'm not mistaken):

• Benevolence/ humanity (jen/ren) 仁

• righteousness (yi) 義

• propriety (li) 禮

• wisdom (zhi) 智

• fidelity/sincerity (xin) 信

After reading some other takes I also have this as a possibility: 仁 义 理 智 信

• Benevolence/ humanity (jen/ren) 仁

• righteousness (?) 义

• propriety (?) 理

• wisdom (zhi) 智

• fidelity/sincerity (xin) 信

I've also seen accounts saying that there were instead "four cardinal virtues" or saying that there were three virtues; jen, yi, and li.

It all seems to stem from three verses from the Analects, being:

"Zi Zhang asked, "What then are the "five virtues'?" Confucius answered, "A gentleman should bring benefit to the people instead of toil; he should work the people while not incurring their complaints; he should pursue virtue but not be greedy for profit; he should have a calm disposition and not be arrogant; and he should inspire awe without being fierce.

Zi Zhang asked, "Can you explain for me 'bringing benefit to the people instead of toil' and so on?" Confucius said, "Doesn't it bring benefit to the people rather than toil that one allows them to do what is beneficial to them? Who will complain if made to do things they want to do? What more could one be greedy for if one desires benevolence and gets benevolence? Isn't one calm instead of arrogant if one does not dare to neglect anyone regardless of the number and the size of their clans? Isn't it awe-inspiring and not fierce if a gentleman dresses properly and looks dignified?"

TZU Chang asked Confucius a question about Moral virtue. Confucius replied, “Moral virtue simply consists in being able, anywhere and everywhere, to exercise five particular qualities." Asked what these were, he said: "Self-respect, magnanimity, sincerity, earnestness, and benevolence. Show self-respect, and others will respect you; be magnanimous, and you will win all hearts; be sincere, and men will trust you; be earnest, and you will achieve great things; be benevolent, and you will be fit to impose your will on others."

Though, it could stem from Mencius as well, in this point I'm only guess (much like all my other points :oops:)

Anyway, to recap what I'm looking for exactly was outlined at the beginning, and I'd greatly appreciate anyone who can offer some information or interpretation. Thanks in advance!

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Alright, I have received reliable confirmation that this is the correct five, as well as the order and translation:

Benevolence/ humanity (jen/ren)

righteousness (yi)

propriety (li)

wisdom (zhi)

fidelity/sincerity (xin)

What I still need is the corresponding Chinese symbols, which I believe are 仁 義 禮 智 信 , but do not know from anything other than speculation.

Also, the "superior man" or chün-tzu (I've also read it as junzi) I have no character(s), could someone help me out?

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