Confucius

For nearly 100 years, the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius has had a troubled and difficult reputation within his homeland.

Today, as the country is transformed into an economic giant, he is being rehabilitated by scholars, businessman and government alike.

Radio 3 has asked public figures in Britain to reflect on Confucius' famous analects, and to assess the relevance of his values to contemporary diplomacy, freedom, religion and their own lives.

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For nearly 100 years, the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius has had a troubled and difficult reputation within his homeland.

Today, as the country is transformed into an economic giant, he is being rehabilitated by scholars, businessman and government alike.

Radio 3 has asked public figures in Britain to reflect on Confucius' famous analects, and to assess the relevance of his values to contemporary diplomacy, freedom, religion and their own lives.Writer on religion Karen Armstrong considers the golden rule: 'Do not do to others what you would not have done to you'.

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Biologist Lewis Wolpert examines: 'To say you know when you know, and to say you do when you do not, that is knowledge'.

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Author Lynne Truss ponders: 'I used to take on trust a man's deeds after having listened to his words.

Now having listened to a man's words, I go on to observe his deeds'.

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Documentary-maker Nick Broomfield explains why one of Confucius' sayings has a professional and personal meaning for him: 'The gentleman helps others to realise what is good in them; he does not help them to realise what is bad in them.

The small man does the opposite'.

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Writer A S Byatt muses on Confucius' analect on what it means to be a gentleman: 'In his dealings with the world the gentleman is not invariably for or against anything.

He is on the side of what is moral.'

Literature is full of examples of gentlemen who are not of noble birth, and of those of noble birth who do not behave like gentlemen.

But how do we define those values now?