Lectures Watched
Since January 1, 2014
Hundreds of free, self-paced university courses available:
my recommendations here
Peruse my collection of 275
influential people of the past.
View My Class Notes via:
Receive My Class Notes via E-Mail:


Contact Me via E-Mail:
edward [at] tanguay.info
Notes on video lecture:
Confucius' Use of Ritual as a Tool
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
two, behaving, Zhou, nature, act, affective, gift, raw, humanizer, foppish, incense, social, writing, dress, bumping, training, feeling, exasperating, balanced, movie, crude, excess, utensils, Western, substance, polishing
ritual is a                   
it restrains and reforms human             
without ritual we don't know how to       
a behavioral language
metaphor of carving and                   
becoming a proper human being is like shaping a        material
reshaping your emotions
acting out ritual emotions
allowing you to achieve the mean
in our natural state we tend toward             
the concept of ritual which Confucius has inherited from the          is very broad
state ritual
the way you           
in what order you eat your food
Analects 8.2
If you are respectful but lack ritual you will become                         , if you are careful but lack ritual you will become timid, if you are courageous but lack ritual you will become unruly, if you are upright but lack ritual you will become inflexible."
e.g. today Chinese hand things to each other with        hands
becomes part of our                    landscape
ritual is the "right kind of               "
Confucius wants you to feel certain              values
gives you scripts to perform to make you feel new virtues
evidence in contemporary social science and cognitive science that indicates this is an effective way to attain desired behavior
if you want to develop the virtue of gratitude, sitting down daily for ten minutes and                in a gratitude journal can be an effective way to do this
rituals are scripts
like in a film or a           
social scripts are standard ways we have for                  in certain public situations
words have to have fixed references in order for people to be able to communicate
the same is true for ritual
e.g. hand shaking
this can morph into e.g. fist               , but this is still understood as a similar gesture to shaking hands
rituals tend to be conservative in this way, even if they evolve over time
for Confucius you are engaging in ritual all the time, it pervades your entire life
even if you are eating alone, it structures the way you arrange your                 
the way you dress properly even if there is no one to see you
ritual is not just about the social communication but about the shaping of internal dispositions
in this way, ritual becomes internalized
not just motions that you go through, but when perform the ritual, you feel what the ritual expresses
you are not just putting out               , but you are feeling the emotion of respect and honor
Analects 3.12
Sacrifice as if the spirits were present, comport yourself as if the spirits are present.
Analects 3.12
If I am not fully present at the sacrifice, it is as if I did not sacrifice at all.
ritual as striking a balance
wen (cultural form)
native                   , what is on the inside
the raw material is merged with the form
e.g. the grain in a wood bowl
this is the Confucian gentlemen
Analects 6.18
When native substance overwhelms cultural refinement, the result is a            rustic. When cultural refinement overwhelms native substance, the result is a                pedant.
Book 10
a series of passages which describe Confucius' ritual behavior
most                scholars don't know what to do with this book
Analects 10.6
"With a black upper garment he would wear a lambskin robe; with a white upper garment he would wear a fawn skin robe; and with a yellow upper garment he would wear a fox-fur robe...His informal fur robe was long, but the right sleeve was short. He required that his nightgown be knee-length."
Analects 10.23
"When receiving a          from a friend, even something as valuable as a cart or a horse, he did not bow unless it was a gift of sacrificial meat."
this book gives examples of how Confucius had internalized the rituals of the Zhou dynasty
shows that when you internalize the rituals you attain a certain degree of autonomy
book 10 is a kind of                  video
an example of how a perfectly                  gentleman moves through the world

Spelling Corrections:


Ideas and Concepts:

Chinese etiquette of the day via tonight's History of Chinese Thought class: "Another good example of Chinese ritual is the way you deal with chopsticks. When you are pausing at a meal and putting your chopsticks down, you should always lay them horizontally, on a little chopstick stand if you have been given one, or across the top of your bowl. You should never stick them into the rice standing up. The reason is that chopsticks sticking up in a bowl of rice reminds people of the way you offer incense to the dead."
The Definition of Religion
Mind/Body Dualism and Cognitive Control
Deontology, Utilitarianism, and Virtue Ethics
Wu-Wei, Dao, Tien and De
The Shang Dynasty (1554-1045 BC)
The Beginnings of Written Chinese History
Eastern Holistic Thinking and the Paradox of Virtue
The Golden Age of the Western Zhou (1046–771 BCE)
Philosophical and Conceptual Innovations in Zhou Thought
Confucius and the Analects
Confucius: I Transmit, I Do Not Innovate
Confucius' Use of Ritual as a Tool
Confucius' View on Learning vs. The Enlightenment
Confucius and Holistic Education
Confucius and the Art of Self-Cultivation
At Home in Virtue
Non-Coercive Comportment, Virtue, and Charisma of the Zhou
The Transition to Becoming Sincere
The Primitivists in the Analects
Laozi and the Daodejing
Laozi: Stop the Journey and Return Home
Laozi and The Desires of the Eye
Laozi: He Who Speaks Does Not Know
The Concept of Reversion
Laozi on Shutting Down the Prefrontal Cortex
The Guodian Laozi
Mozi and Materialist State Consequentialism
Mozi's Idea of Ideological Unity
Mozi's Doctrine of Impartial Caring
Mozi's Anti-Confucian Chapters
Mozi's Religious Fundamentalism and Organized Activism
The Language Crisis in the Warring States Period
Yang Zhu and Mid-Warring States' Focus on the Body
The Guodian School of Confucianism
Qi and Self-Cultivation