When Socrates Meets Confucius
Good morning ladies and gentlemen,
Today I’m very happy to be here to share with you some of my thoughts on the topic “when Socrates meets Confucius”. As we all know that Socrates and Confucius were outstanding representatives in the history of western and eastern culture. They were not only the great philosophers but also the greatest educators in the history.
In the east, Confucius is considered as the greatest saint. He is the major founder of our profound traditional culture. His theory relates to politics, economics, education, and aesthetics. While, Socrates was like a star shining in the sky of the west. He has made a great contribution to the western culture, in the fields of politics, education, philosophy, ethics and so on. Although they lived in different areas, their thoughts have a lot in common.
Firstly, they are both keen on education. Socrates acknowledged that people were born different, but no matter how different they are,
education can improve them. Thus, he thought that education is vital to everyone. All kinds of people, young and old, rich and poor, abled and disabled can be his students. Similarly, Confucius advocated education for all. He clearly stated that ‘there should be education for everyone without distinction’.
Secondly, they both valued heuristic teaching method. Socrates
wanted to explore others’ potential knowledge by asking their questions. While, Confucius tried to encourage his pupils to discuss together, in order to develop their thinking abilities. He thinks that they could learn from each other in this way.
Thirdly, in terms of life, Socrates and Confucius advocated diligence and thrift. Socrates propagated thrift and this kind of thought was
developed by the west famous philosophical school called Cynicism. Meanwhile, Confucius also advocated living in a simple life. He did as what he said in his life.
There are still many similarities between Socrates and Confucius, therefore, I’m wondering that if Socrates meets Confucius in the ancient time, they must be the best friends, they might have some debates in
some points of view, but their intimate friendship shall not be affected at all.
That’s all. Thank you!