Of the ancient Confucian scholars the two most important are Confucius and Mencius. Their doctrines have laid out a design for ethical living and moral decision making that Chinese people have followed for centuries of time. This paper seeks to further analyze the ethical views of Confucius and Mencius, and through Tai Chen's Meng Tzu-I shu-cheng, connect the aforementioned philosophies by using his questions to show that ther doctrines justify each other.
Kongzi, or Confucius, was the father figure for a Chinese ideology and philosophy that would affect the way Chinese people think and live for thousands of years after his death. It is important to note that Confucius claims no ownership to his philosophies; he did not consider himself the founder of any school or philosophical movement, and once said of himself, "I transmit but do not create. I believe in and love the ancients" (Analects 1.1). Although he only claimed himself to be a transmitter, because of the expansion and continuation of his ideology through later philosophers, it is evident that he also a creator. .
Confucian morals focus around man. Confucius believed that man "can make the Way (Tao) great," and not that "the Way can make man great."(Chan 15) A man of great morality and principle, or a "man of ren," refines himself through the wisdom and practices of the great Sage Kings that once lived before him. In practicing the ways of the ancients, Confucius did not want for a man to just know or act, but act out of. (Ivanhoe CMSC 2) In other words, his philosophies meant for filial sons and daughters to not just perform the rites and act respectfully to their parents, but to do so out of filial piety. During a funeral for one's parents, the son should not just bury, but grieve and feel sorrow for the loss of their mother and/or mother. .
Confucius suggested that someone who wished to study moral ethics, practice and reflect upon them in all aspects of his life (Ivanhoe 1).