This page features a collection of the best resources on Confucius. Just to be clear, there is no single best resource on Confucius. The best one will depend on your preferred learning style and the amount of time you want to spend learning about him.
To get started, simply choose one of the links below:
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:
Unfortunately, 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.
For more introductory philosophy resources and reading lists check out this collection of Resources and Reading Lists.