Did Confucius really say x?

There are stories about what Confucius, the Chinese practical philosopher, said and did. At any point, one can ask: “Did Confucius really say or do x?”

Yet, in an important way, this is irrelevant. Either what is being said is sound or useful, or it isn’t. One can appreciate there is a tradition which has found practical use in the writings, and treat it accordingly. One does not need to believe the writings are ‘inerrant’ in some sense to do so – indeed, this just tends to cause problems.

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