Title

In quest of harmony : Plato and Confucius on poetry

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Philosophy East & West

Publication Date

7-1-1999

Volume

49

Issue

3

First Page

317

Last Page

345

Abstract

Plato (427?-347? B.C.) and Confucius (ca. 551-479 B.C.) lived only about half a century apart, but in two culturally unrelated worlds. The influence of these two thinkers on humankind can be measured only on the grandest scale of time and space. For about two and a half millennia, the thoughts of Plato and Confucius have shaped all aspects of life in those two largest cultural spheres that are known, respectively, as the West and the East. To compare Platonic and Confucian thought is to embark on an expedition back to the fountainheads of Western and Eastern cultures. By comparing the ideas of Plato and Confucius, we can observe similarities and differences between these cultures at their infancy and better understand why the two great traditions would develop as they did. For this reason, Plato-Confucius comparisons abound in the works of comparative philosophy. While these comparisons cover a broad intellectual spectrum, they seldom explore the topic of the aesthetics of poetry. To bring due attention to this topic, I would like to consider the two thinkers' views of poetry in relation to their broader educational, ethical, and philosophical concerns

DOI

10.2307/1399898

Print ISSN

00318221

E-ISSN

15291898

Publisher Statement

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Full-text Version

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Recommended Citation

Cai, Z.-q, (1999). In quest of harmony: Plato and Confucius on poetry. Philosophy East & West, 49(3), 317-345. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1399898