A Comparison of the Political Thoughts of Confucius and Plato

  • Changzheng Dai


This paper compares the concepts of “Ruler of Saint” of Confucius with “Philosopher King” of Plato as well as Confucius’ ideology of Ratification of Names with Plato’s Justice. It reveals the huge gap between the two thinkers in their seemingly similar political thoughts. The basic duty of the Ruler of Saint is to educate, while the basic duty of the Philosopher King lies in fundamental reform and the process of selecting and cultivating the successors. The concept of Ratification of Names is conservative and reactionary while the idea of justice is revolutionary and radical. Although both the two great thinkers stress on the virtue of people, one cannot jump to the conclusion that they simply replace the idea of Rule-of-Law with the idea of Rule-of-Men.


Political Order Political Thought Great Thinker Political Dream Natural Talent 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of International Relations, UIBEUniversity of International Business and EconomicsBeijingChina

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