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In a traditional Chinese context, the term ‘superior man’ often affiliated to a gentleman of the nobility, and thereby set aside any association with the commoners or the lay…
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Download file to see previous pages that in the above quotation, Confucius no way intends to convey that individuals born in nobility do not happen to accrue superiority by the dint of their birth and the privileges they have access to. It is a fact that Confucius supported the upholding on the old norms, ideals and values. However, while cherishing the old, in this quotation Confucius also does make way for a possibility of social mobility achieved through self worth and personal talent (Rainey, 2010, p. 18). Thereby, Confucius is making the echelons of power more open and accessible to the commoners who aspired to wrest social recognition and privileges through hard work and ingenuity (Rogers, 1993). Therefore, one simply cannot help appreciating this Confucian twist to the traditional Chinese idea of a ‘superior man’, eking in a way of harmonizing the claims of the aristocratic class with the aspirations of the more ambitious commoners.
One can certainly discern the hint that this Confucian idea of the ‘superior man’, and its association with self worth and personal ability is indicative of a society, which though still governed by the nobility, is yet, gradually becoming more open. In that context the Confucian inclination of preserving the old, while welcoming the new is amply implicit in the given quotation. If one correlates the given quotation with the available historical facts, it is well known that irrespective of being a gentleman of noble birth, Confucius did allow individuals from the lower social strata to become his followers or students (Rainey, 2010, p. 18). In other words, Confucius was respective of and understanding towards the idea of social mobility and a notion of social status and position, directly ensuing from the actual abilities, efforts and drive of a person (Rogers, 1993, p. 46). Confucius does agree to in this quotation that the social space dominated by the nobility and the aristocratic class could not remain impervious to an individual who is willing to put ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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