Saturday, September 13, 2008

David Brooks and Confucianism

David Brooks is a columnist for the New York Times. On Thursday Sept. 11, 2008, he published a column entitled "The Social Animal."

In this column he wrote, "Over the past 30 years, there has been a tide of research in many fields, all underlining one old truth — that we are intensely social creatures, deeply interconnected with one another and the idea of the lone individual rationally and willfully steering his own life course is often an illusion."

This is exactly what I wrote in my book: we need to recognize our connection to our community. Confucianism has a lot to say about relationships between individuals and the community. Both the Analects of Confucius (which are in my book) and the Great Learning have much wisdom on relationships and community.

In my description of The Winding Spring Process of Education I highlight a portion of The Great Learning (the Ta Hsueh, also written as the Da Xue) that describes the interaction of family and community.

Confucianism will make important contributions to America.

Robert Canright

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