chapter  8
12 Pages

Conclusion

I began this study with the moral theory I believe implicit in the sensibility and structure of the Analects. While exemplarism works from particular exemplary people to increasingly refi ned and abstract concepts and schemata, my argument has proceeded in reverse order, moving from theory to people. However, with an analysis of three of the Analects’ people in hand, let me now work from these people to a return to theory. An exemplarist method consists in drawing the general from a host of particulars. We should, that is, expect that we can treat our exemplars a bit the way a chemist would treat water, looking at a variety of instances of that liquid we call “water” and limning just what conditions make it so and indeed how they make it so. My scrutiny of Confucius, Zilu, and Zigong has focused rather narrowly on their personal styles and what I think is an emergent concept of transparency we fi nd in what they offer. What I want to suggest with respect to this company of exemplars is that they point us toward the conclusion that, in the moral idiom of the Analects, transparency effectively operates as a condition for being a good person. Put simply, I hypothesize that to be like the positive models of Confucius and Zilu and unlike the negative model of Zigong will entail, among a host of other conditions, being transparent. If this is correct, however, we should expect to see transparency well fi tted in to other aspects of the text, reaching beyond these three models into both its additional exemplars and the moral concepts and schema the text does give elaboration. Let me then consider this hypothesis in the wider frame of the text.