Review Questions For Kongzi

1. How did Kongzi think of Dao (the Way)? In what ways did he think that people could cultivate an understanding of Dao? How does this support your author’s contention that Kongzi’s is an acquisition model of moral self-cultivation?

2. Why, for Kongzi, was it not enough that one simply learn the classics and memorize the movements of the rites? Relate your answer to his maxim: “Study without reflection is a waste. Reflection without study is a danger.”

3. What role did interpretive exercises, such as exemplified in your book by Kongzi’s remarks about the Odes, play in Confucian education? What role did practice of the rites play?

4. Your author’s remarks about how Kongzi might have valued athletic endeavors are interesting. Summarize them and then comment on them. Do you agree or disagree? Support your answer.

5. Also interesting are the positions Kongzi took on the moral significance of music and clothing. Summarize your author’s explanation of Kongzi’s positions and then comment on these as well. Is music, for example, morally significant? Is it socially significant (in terms of, say the way that we use it in certain settings)? If we were to follow Kongzi’s advice about music, would our choices about music have to change? Why or why not?

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