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Measuring Human Relations

Continuities and Discontinuities in the Reading of the Lunyu 

Tiziana Lippiello    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    

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abstract

In Chinese literature the locus classicus of what in the West has been called «the Golden Rule» is traditionally considered a passage from the Lunyu (Analects) in which Zigong, one of Confucius’ favourite disciples, asks his Master for a principle that can guide man’s behaviour. In the sentence «What you don’t want done to yourself, do not do to others» , the Master defined shu, a character variably translated as ‘reciprocity’, ‘empathy’, ‘consideration of others’ or ‘do unto others as you would have others do unto you’. Shu is one of the most widely debated and controversial assertions of Confucian ethics, not only because of the alleged analogy with the biblical «golden rule», but also because of its semantic richness, as we discover from reading the Analects and other writings. However, shu alone does not fully express the Chinese notion of concern and love for others. Shu, zhong and ren are concepts which recur in Lunyu and concur to define our perception of the Chinese golden rule in Confucian thought.  

Submitted
July 16, 2016
Language
IT
ISBN (PRINT)
978-88-6969-098-3
ISBN (EBOOK)
978-88-6969-095-2

Keywords: ShuConsideration of othersGolden RuleLunyuEmpathyAnalects

Copyright: © 2016 Tiziana Lippiello. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.