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Confucius as Seen through the Lenses of the Zuo zhuan and Lunyu

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While the Lunyu has traditionally been seen as the most authoritative source of Confucius’s thought, it is far from our only such source. Others, such as the Zuo zhuan, are no less important to any examination of Confucius’s life and philosophy, and yet they appear to portray the Master with a different agenda in mind. In an attempt to explore these differences, this essay first categorizes the various references to and citations of Confucius in the Zuo zhuan, analyzing them in light of related passages in the Lunyu, to show the ways in which they diverge and the possible compositional motivations and ideologies underlying such divergences. It then goes on to discuss the implications this might hold in terms of understanding the historical Confucius and his political career, while suggesting new ways in which alternate sources for this understanding might be more fully utilized.
Même si le Lunyu a toujours été considéré comme la source faisant le plus autorité sur la pensée de Confucius, c’est bien loin d’être la seule. D’autres, tel le Zuo zhuan, ne sont pas moins importantes pour étudier la vie et la philosophie de Confucius; mais elles semblent faire le portrait du Maître avec une intention différente. Cherchant à explorer cette différence, le présent article commence par classer les références variées à Confucius et les citations de ses propos dans le Zuo zhuan tout en les analysant à la lumière des passages correspondants dans le Lunyu afin de montrer la façon dont elles en divergent et de mettre en évidence les motifs compositionnels ou idéologiques susceptibles d’expliquer ces divergences. Il examine ensuite les implications possibles pour comprendre le Confucius historique et sa carrière politique, tout en suggérant la façon dont les sources alternatives pourraient être utilisées plus complètement à cet effet.

Affiliations: 1: Yale-National University of Singapore College


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