Melvyn Bragg discusses the philosophy of Confucius, a body of ideas which, more than any other philosophy, has defined what it is to be Chinese.
Melvyn Bragg examines the philosophy of Confucius. In the 5th century BC a wise man called Kung Fu Tzu said, 'study the past if you would divine the future'. This powerful maxim helped form the body of ideas, which more than Buddhism, more than Daoism, more even than Communism has defined what it is to be Chinese. It is a philosophy that we call Confucianism, and as well as asserting the importance of learning from the past it embodies a respect for heirachy, ritual and parents.But who was Confucius, what were his ideas and how did they succeed in becoming the bedrock for a civilisation? With Frances Wood, Curator of the Chinese section of the British Library, Tim Barrett Professor of East Asian History at SOAS, the School of African and Oriental Studies at London University, and Dr Tao Tao Liu, Tutorial Fellow in Oriental Studies at Wadham College, Oxford University.