Notice regarding Plagiarism
Some of you will have noticed that I gave you "fail (F)" grade due to plagiarism.
There are a few simple things to keep in mind:
- When you use someone else's passage
- use quotation marks if the passage is no longer than one or two lines
- if the passage is longer than two or three lines, indent the quoted passage so that it can be made clear that the passage is a quotation
- when you quote a passage, give the reference
- Do not list references which you have not actually consulted.
- Even if you give references, do not use someone else's work/passages too extensively.
In short, be honest.
We know that "honesty" can be complicated at times. But, in many cases, it is plain and simple. Do not try to appear more than what you are.
To give you an idea of a very good work, I offer you the following example (with permission of the student):
Explain various aspects of the concept of Ren (仁) as it appears in the text of Analect (by 28 November 23:00)
Along with the concept of Lǐ, the Confucian system of law and government emphasized the idea of rén as the fundamental basis of ethical virtue. According to modern translation of the Analects, rén is known as generosity and benevolence. However, as the inner expression of Lǐ, rén is more complex than merely being humane; it is essentially moral fortitude which shows firm determination and strength of mind. In this sense, rén is necessary in carrying out the principles of Lǐ. (Liu, 1999) Underlying the idea of rén are the concepts of xiào, known as family reverence, and zhi, known as wisdom. Based on these aspects of rén, the concept plays a crucial role that pertains to the Confucian ideal of politics. (Liu, 1999)
As crucial rén is in the Confucian system, it is emphasized throughout the Analects, especially in the fourth chapter, Li Ren. The idea of rén, on the surface, promotes humaneness and virtuous qualities such as generosity and benevolence. The Confucian idea of the concept of rén is based on reciprocity and airen, which means to love all. (Liu, 1999) Practicing rén is classified into two categories, the negative and positive. The negative aspect of rén emphasizes the ethic of reciprocity, which means “do not do to others as you would not wish done to yourself.” (Liu, 1999) This notion of rén was accessible to all individuals, as Confucius remarked, “Is rén indeed so remote? I wish to be a man with the quality of rén and rén is accessible to all.” (Liu, 1999) The positive aspect of rén does not confine the practice of rén as merely not doing harm, but extends the practice to helping and making positive contributions to others. (Liu, 1999) Confucius believed that a man of rén always did good to others and had the ability to assist others, as he stated that “the man of perfect virtue, wishing to be established himself, seeks also to establish others; wishing to be enlarged himself, he seeks also to enlarge others. To be able to judge of others by what is nigh in ourselves - this may be called the art of virtue (Lun Yu, 6.30),” in which virtue refers to rén. This idea of positive rén is where all translations of rén as humane qualities root from and such interpretations clearly relate rén with the concept of xiào.
Xiào, or family reverence, is one of the principles of Lǐ and is necessary for the practice of rén. (Rosement & Ames, 2008) In the fundamental sense, xiào is about showing love and respect for one’s parents. As the practice of rén is based on loving others, it is only logical to denote xiào as the essential starting point of attaining rén; one could not love others if one does not love one’s family. (Liu, 1999) This cultivation of love for one’s family, xiào is related closely to the political implications of rén. As Confucius remarks, “In the Documents, it is said, ‘Serve your parents! Serve your friends and brothers big and small as you serve your parents. Apply the same to politics.’ What I do is also politics. Doing this is not doing politics? (Lun Yu, 3.21)” he believed that there was no distinction between family ethics and public ethics. Xiào’s priority in attainting rén is also clearly shown in how loyalty to one’s family is considered more important than loyalty to the state. (Liu, 1999) This is demonstrated by Confucius when he replies to the governor of She on the idea of ‘true’ person, “Those who are ‘true’ in my village conduct themselves differently. A father covers for his son, and a son covers for his father. And being true lies in doing so.” (Rosement & Ames, 2008)
Although the concept of rén undoubtedly embodies humaneness, it is inherently involved with moral fortitude. Arguably, this interpretation of rén as firm determination and strength of mind goes against the generally established characterization of rén as benevolence and kindness. However, this different interpretation of rén is supported by many passages in the Analects. Confucius stated that “soothing words and pleasant face; there can hardly be any moral fortitude (Lun Yu, 1.3),” and instead asserted that "the firm, the enduring, the simple, and the modest are near to virtue (Lun Yu, 13.27)." These passages clearly indicate the true nature of rén as a concept involved with moral fortitude. This idea of rén as resolute determination is showed throughout the Analects, as Confucius states that “only a man of moral fortitude can truly love a person and truly loathe a person (Lun Yu, 4.3),” and “a man of moral fortitude is bound to have courage (Lun Yu, 14.4).”
Among these passages, Confucius makes a connection between rén and zhi, which is known as wisdom. (Thompson, 2007) As illustrated by a passage in the fourth chapter, “A man without moral fortitude cannot stay long under constraint; cannot stay long in delight. A man of moral fortitude derives comfort from [practising] moral fortitude. A man of wisdom derives benefit from moral fortitude (Lun Yu, 4.2),” Confucius believed that, while people of rén pursue the virtue itself, people of zhi integrate the concept of rén in life to benefit from it. (Thompson, 2007) Confucius also believed that the two virtues were interrelated; as seen in the passage “To dwell in moral fortitude is beautiful. If you choose not to settle in moral fortitude, how can you claim to have wisdom (Lun Yu, 4.1),” he believed that it was imperative for one to attain rén in order to be wise. (Thompson, 2007)
Having discussed both the fundamental and practical ideals of rén, it is important to note that Confucius regarded rén as the most important virtue in the Confucian system as it was the root of all other virtues, including Lǐ. The essence of rén is more than merely showing love to others; instead it is moral fortitude which is attained by the resolute determination of the individual. The central values of xiào and zhi and their association with rén are undoubtedly expressed in the many passages of the Analects as they are crucial in achieving and maintaining moral fortitude.
- Liu, Y. (1999). Origins of chinese law.
Retrieved from http://lawlec.korea.ac.kr/upload/liu_ch_3.pdf
- Confucius. (n.d.). Lun yu.
Retrieved from http://lawlec.korea.ac.kr/upload/lunyu.pdf
- Thompson, K. (2007). The archery of ”wisdom” in the stream of life: ”wisdom” in the four books with zhu xi’s reflections.
Retrieved from http://lawlec.korea.ac.kr/wp-content/uploads/2007/04/57.3thompson.pdf
- Rosement, H., & Ames, R. (2008). Family reverence (xiao孝) as the source of consummatory conduct (ren 仁).
Retrieved from http://lawlec.korea.ac.kr/wp-content/uploads/2007/04/xiao_ren.pdf