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Notes On the Analects

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image of T'oung Pao

Whether or not they are to be looked on as of Taoist origin, Analects XIV 39-42 and XVIII 5-8 are clearly associated and need to be read in conjunction. In particular, XIV 39, 40 and XVIII 8 are intimately connected. Of the various suggestions for the "seven who did this" (i.e., withdrew) of XIV 40, only Wang Pi's suggestion, expanded by Leslie-Porat, that the seven names of XVIII 8 are intended, merits serious consideration. A careful examination of the two passages, together with parallels and early commentators, suggests that (XIV 39) and (XVIII 8) both mean "avoid speech", "banish speech" (or at least "refrain from speech"), a far more radical interpretation than orthodox Confucianism allows. Analysis of the seven names favours the view that Chu Chang, I-i, and perhaps Shao-lien and (less likely) Yü-chung, never existed ; they were invented to find seven names to fit XIV 40. The close parallels in Mencius suggest that XVIII 8 originally mentioned merely Po-i (and Shu-ch'i ?) and possibly Liu-hsia Hui, the remainder of the text being made up of later accretions, approximately as reconstructed by Leslie-Porat.


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