Sunday, July 13, 2014

356. Confucian Moral Philosophy in North America around the Revolution

In the 18th century colonial society, the impact of Confucius was widely discussed in the North American colonies. Some eminent colonists, including Benjamin Franklin, expressed their respect for the philosopher. Franklin followed Confucius’ procedure for moral cultivation and started to develop his own virtues as early as 1727. Franklin saw it as his responsibility to spread Confucius’ moral teachings.

Franklin published some chapters from Morals of Confucius in his widely circulated Pennsylvania Gazette in 1737 . Franklin also made it clear that he regarded Confucius as his role model in 1749. In August 1775, just before the eve of the Independence, Thomas Paine revealed a vital and informed interest in China. He published a series of works about China in the Pennsylvania Magazine.

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