Ran Jinhong. Differences Between Ideas of Confucius and Plato

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lp.jvolsu.2023.4.18

Ran Jinhong
Postgraduate Student, Department of History of Foreign Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy, Lomonosov Moscow State University
Prosp. Lomonosovskiy, 27, Bld. 4, 119192 Moscow, Russian Federation
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Abstract. West and East are two branches of human culture, two civilizations, two ways of life. West and East were perceived as "opposite" sides of the world, and this statement applied not only to geography, but also to mentality and worldview. The article discusses the features of Eastern and Western philosophy through the prism of the great ideas of Confucius and Plato, thinkers who had a huge impact on the further development of both cultures and value systems. The comparison in the article is based on metaphysical concepts and the value orientations that follow from them, the attitude to knowledge and to a person, as well as the way of thinking. In the context of metaphysics, the category of philanthropy, which is significant for Confucianism – ren, is considered in comparison with the theory of Plato's ideas, the differences are demonstrated, which later gave different vectors for the development of European and Chinese thought. These differences gave rise to dissimilarity of value concepts, and, as a result, a different understanding of knowledge. As a separate position for comparison, the concept of "aspiration" is taken as the desire for individuality in Western philosophy as opposed to the desire for harmony in Chinese. The reasons leading to such a difference are rooted not only in the personality of the thinkers, but also in a special cultural background and geographical environment. The analytical Western mind of the individual is opposed to the Chinese public consciousness, where the priority is harmony in relations between people at different levels. The author shows some basic philosophical attitudes important for both civilizations and the difference in the further directions of development of the two cultures.
Key words: Confucius, Plato, metaphysical aspiration, value orientations, way of thinking, state of aspiration.

Citation. Ran Jinhong. Differences Between Ideas of Confucius and Plato. Logos et Praxis, 2023, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 180-187. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lp.jvolsu.2023.4.18

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