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Summary

Compiled centuries before the birth of Jesus, the Analects of Confucius is anything but dry ancient philosophy. Many of its passages hold the same power as any great Socratic dialogue. Which makes trying to get to the heart of the Analects - and its importance - a challenging and undeniably exciting intellectual pursuit.

With these 24 accessible lectures, enjoy an adventurous exploration of one of the world's most important philosophical texts. Filled with rich historical context, detailed close readings of key passages, expert interpretations of larger cultural trends, and stories of Confucius and his most notable students (and critics), these lectures are required learning for anyone who wants a solid understanding of Eastern philosophy - and the ways a single book can cross cultures and go on to inspire an entire world.

After grounding your approach to the Analects with a look at what we know (and don't know) about Confucius' life, career, and teaching philosophy, you'll examine some of the book's most powerful, central themes. Among these are remonstrance (an idea at the heart of Chinese social and political life) and effective rule (which, for Confucius, required a grounding in morality and integrity).

As you illuminate your understanding of key passages in the Analects, you'll also meet the students, philosophers, and statesmen who, in their own ways, contributed to the millennia-long story of this enduring book - by recording Confucian thought, critiquing it, building on it, pillorying it, and resurrecting it for the modern age.

As with all great philosophical experiences, the Analects is a work whose intellectual richness and insight remain with you long after you've heard the final passages. So, too, will these lectures, which will help internalize Confucian teachings - and make them work in your own life.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2016 The Great Courses (P)2016 The Teaching Company, LLC

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What listeners say about Books That Matter: The Analects of Confucius

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  • Thucydides
  • 18-01-19

Love it

I had studied Confucius and Mencius for years. This lecture series gave me so much good food for thought and reinvigorates my ardor to reread the original writings with a new sense of wonder and inquiry. I highly recommend these lectures to anyone interested in Asian thought, human wisdom, and the enduring and rising power of China.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mat
  • 24-11-17

More a course on Confucianism then the analects

Great course that makes Confucianism accessible. I was expecting more on the text itself. Overall worth it.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Yevhen Zolotukhin
  • 29-08-19

He’s not talking about the actual subject

It’s very bad.
The author talks about whatever subjects are bothering him, but not the Analects. And as usual, that talk includes some personal stories, some anecdotes and some usual left wing BS nobody cares about. Pathetic to put it mildly.

9 people found this helpful

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  • James
  • 16-02-18

A Truly Enlightening, Engaging Intro

I am incredibly glad I listened to this course before picking up the Analects! It gave me much more insight into the text itself and the scope of it's impact on China as a whole.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Ray
  • 26-06-18

Enlightening!!!!

A wonderful history and explanation of China's most influencial scholar, Confucius still remains relevant today.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Mark S. Tuell
  • 18-05-18

Now I am totally Confused

Seriouslly though....Well narrated, a lot of information . I would reccomend this book. Great job!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-01-17

Not very good....

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No. Surprisingly little coverage of the actual Analects of Confucius. Not sure what the real goal of the lecture series was, very meandering.

Would you recommend Books That Matter: The Analects of Confucius to your friends? Why or why not?

No.

What didn’t you like about Professor Robert André LaFleur’s performance?

Delivery was meandering and self-indulgent. Too many tangents which did little to help me understand the source material. Professor was more interested in telling his favorite stories than providing analysis of the text itself.

Was Books That Matter: The Analects of Confucius worth the listening time?

No. Would not listen to again.

Any additional comments?

Should not be titled "Books That Matter: The Analects of Confucius" when relatively little of the lecture series is dedicated to study of the book itself. Archaeology stories related to different historical texts, uninteresting anecdotes from years as a teacher, travelogue, etc. Would be better if it was called "My playful musings and favorite stories after years of teaching and researching Chinese history". At least then I would have skipped it.

21 people found this helpful

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  • dean
  • 23-03-17

Weak content

This audiobook is like listening to a giant table of contents. After a while I skipped around to find real content from Confucius, but it is scarce. There is more content on my Zen calendar daily sayings.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Marcielle Brandler
  • 07-11-17

I misunderstood the premise for this book

I thought I was going to be listening to the actual The Analects of Confucius and
not a discussion about the work.
That is frustrating.
If the "great books' series is just that, then I am not interested.
I want the original pieces.

It was well done, must not what I had wanted.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Frank Mosher
  • 20-08-19

Outstanding course!!!

Easily the best course I've gone through on Confucius. I recommend this to anyone who wants to understand the philosophy, including people who were raised memorizing the Analects. The insight provided might just make you fall in love with the Analects!

2 people found this helpful