This page features a collection of the best resources on Confucius. To get started, simply choose the type of resource that best suits your learning style.
If you want an academic overview of Confucius:
- Read the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Confucius. However, you should keep in mind that the SEP is often quite technical and this article may be difficult for beginners. It’s also quite long at around 6800 words. Here’s a short excerpt that introduces Confucius:
“Confucius (551?-479? BCE), according to Chinese tradition, was a thinker, political figure, educator, and founder of the Ru School of Chinese thought. His teachings, preserved in the Lunyu or Analects, form the foundation of much of subsequent Chinese speculation on the education and comportment of the ideal man, how such an individual should live his life and interact with others, and the forms of society and government in which he should participate. Fung Yu-lan, one of the great 20thcentury authorities on the history of Chinese thought, compares Confucius’ influence in Chinese history with that of Socrates in the West. . . .”
If you’re looking for a somewhat shorter and more engaging introduction:
If you’d prefer a video introduction:
If you prefer audio and podcasts:
While these resources are a great starting point, there’s only so much you can learn by using free online resources. If you want to learn more, check out this list of the best books on Confucius.
The Daily Idea collects and organizes the best philosophy resources from across the internet to help make learning about philosophy as easy as possible. You can find an organized collection of introductory readings and free philosophy resources here. Or get started below by signing up for a free philosophy quote delivered to your inbox each day!