A picture of Confucius, in Myths & Legends of China, 1922, by E.T.C. Werner

Confucius (born 551 BC, died 478 BC) was  important an important Chinese educator and philosopher. As a child, he was eager to learn about everything and was very interested in rituals. Once he grew up, he worked as a state official and then he became a teacher.

Confucius lived in a time when many states were fighting wars in China, during the Zhou Dynasty. Confucius did not like this and wanted to bring order back to society.


Like Socrates, Confucius sometimes did not answer philosophical questions himself. Instead he wanted people to think hard about problems and to learn from others, especially from history. Confucius also thought that people should get power because they were good and skilled, and not just because they came from powerful families.

Confucius wanted people to think about other people more than about money or what they owned. However he also felt that there should be strong rules in society and that people needed to obey them.

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