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Aristotle Compare And Contrast Confucius And Lao Tzu

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Confucius, Aristotle, and Lao-Tzu—all incredibly influential thinkers—did not always agree on how one ought to live; where Aristotle believed that thought or study led to virtue, Lao-Tzu placed focus on inaction, and Confucius taught that rituals paved the way to the best life. A few ideas, however, tie Confucius closer to Aristotle than to Lao-Tzu. Because Aristotle also placed importance on names, emphasized the need to find a mean of behavior, and believed that rulers should most critically be moral, Confucius would have preferred Aristotle to Lao-Tzu. Names—Aristotle utilizes them, even though he recognizes the difference between what exists in reality and the form represented by its name, while Lao-Tzu, on the other hand, maintains that names only serve to put limits on the named, and, in fact run the risk of creating opposites. According to Lao-Tzu, “Recognize beauty and ugliness is born. Recognize good and evil is born. Is and Isn’t produce each other,” (Tao Te Ching 2). In this case, Confucius leans further toward Aristotle, as he places great significance on using correct names. A reader of both Confucius and Aristotle can immediately notice the resemblance between their views of how people should behave. Confucius sounds Aristotelian when he states, “The virtue embodied in the doctrine of the Mean is of the highest order,” (Analects 46). Moreover, Confucius…show more content…
As Confucius states, “if good men were to govern the domain for a hundred years, they could wipe out violence and put an end to killing,” (Analects 90). While Aristotle and Confucius disagreed on the role of law in society—Aristotle thought that laws could make people moral where Confucius thought that if people could respect their leaders, then they would try to emulate them—the ideas of the two are more similar than they are
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