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C O U R S E 
Chinese Thought: Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Science
Edward Slingerland, University of British Columbia
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
Confucius and Holistic Education
Notes taken on September 16, 2015 by Edward Tanguay
the arts in education
modern Western view of arts
something you do on the side
an optional extra
or Confucius, the arts are crucial in shaping people
and the most important art for Confucius was music
the term for music: yue [yeah]
very broad
playing an instrument
whereas observing ritual changed you gradually by developing habits to change the way you feel and think
music could go directly inside your soul and shape how you feel and think
two way connection
can also serve as a direct expression of what you are feeling on the inside
a diagnostic use in the Confucian scheme
Analects 3.25
Shao music: "It is perfectly beautiful, and also perfectly good."
expressed a kind of moral perfection
Wu music: "It is perfectly beautiful, but not perfectly good."
of King Wu
you can discern its beauty and strength, but there is something off about it because it is martial
has an element of using force
rejected military force as something positive
Analects 14.39
The Master was playing the stone chimes in the state of Wei.
Man passes by and says, "Whoever is playing the chimes like that certainly has something on his mind."
listens for while
says, "How despicable is this petty stubbornness, if no one understands you, just tend to yourself."
Confucius is frustrated, and people can tell in the music
you can tell something about the moral state and the moral character of them when they play music
music is diagnostic
the story where the Book of Odes comes from
folk poetry that was sung
Zhou kings had an official whose job it was to go around and listen to people as a diagnostic
modern example
Dr. Brandon Konoval plays Liszt's Funérailles
outraged impudence
what we have here is an example of a composer who using the inherent bell-like or chime-like characteristics of the piano to create a sport of kaleidoscope of colors
the sense of physical motion
but also interested in a feeling or a cluster of feelings centered around frustration, and what could be more frustrating than our own mortality
music is often engaged with the idea of transcendence of some kind
in Western tradition, one thing that often happens is composers reflecting on their limits of their powers as musicians
we can hear this a piece of music such as Funérailles is endeavoring to capture our feelings can be about the mechanics of the music itself, and a range of feelings that one might experience
certainly sadness is there, lamentation, but also a sense of frustration at having someone precious taken from you, perhaps a feeling that there's an outraged impotence if you will
Confucius was very careful about the kind of music you listened to
Yan Hui, Confucius' favorite disciple, asked about running the state
Confucius: as for music, listen only to the Shao and Wu, prohibit the tunes of Zheng, for it is licentious, and keep glib people at a distance, for they are dangerous
Zheng music had a catchy beat, it made people want to dance, and it led to licentiousness in young people
the tunes of Zheng were like Elvis Presley or rap or punk
any kind of music parents don't approve of
the art forms that you surround yourself with do have an effect on you
if you surround yourself with shallowness, violence and superficiality, it's not implausible to think that this will create shallowness, violence and superficiality in you
the idea that we should care about the kind of music we listen to, the kind of art we look at, seems a bit old-fashion these days, but it is not an unreasonable idea at all
Confucius and the arts
help shape you as a person
both shaping and expressing functions
certain sports
ritual deference
it's not just a bunch of people shooting at a target
there's a certain order
there's bowing to people at certain times
how to play well with others
interact well with others
physical disciplines
metaphor for life
you want to hit the target
to hit the bulls-eye serves as a metaphor for hitting the mean in moral life
you don't want to shoot to short or long but in the center
you want to hit the center of virtue
having proper handwriting
expressing yourself in writing
board games
all have something to teach you
Confucian education
rites: behavior, emotions
classics: thinking, expression
music & arts: emotions