What is the symbol for Confucianism
Did Confucius say, "Signs and symbols rule the world, not words or laws"?
It is not true. The Analects include "When names are incorrect, language does not agree with the truth of things. When language does not agree with the truth of things, matters cannot be made to succeed" (Legge translation) and do more to it. He doesn't say words or symbols or anything like "rule the world".
I assume that the correctness of names per se is a semiotic problem. For more information, see the Analects and other Confucian classics, as well as commentaries on them under "Correction of Names".
But the next thing you are likely to find to find a modern sense of semiotics in ancient Chinese philosophy is the riddle of whether "white horse is not a horse," which could be better put, "white horse is not (the same Concept like) horse "or maybe" a white horse (is not the same as) a horse. " Most commentators assume that this came from a school of logicians who would be rivals to the Confucian school.
Only a few old or classic texts have survived. There are a great many modern interpretations of this subject that disagree at all. Start with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/When_a_white_horse_is_not_a_horse
Another analect is in some ways similar to the quote. The right way to rule the world is for the ruler to do little but remain fixated in virtue: "Whoever exercises government through virtue can be compared to the North Pole, which keeps its place and all the stars turn to him. "Here virtue is closely linked to observance of rituals and, in this sense, to symbols. But the ritual doesn't rule the world. Ritual leads to a world that rules itself.
The wrong quote is really incoherent in Confucius / Kongzi's words. For him, as for many Chinese, a word is basically a sign to this day, it is a written sign or symbol. The pronunciation varies with time and region. In addition, the pronunciation of a single character is ambiguous due to the extensive homophony. So the pronunciation only represents the sign that is the true word.
If I may, since we are talking about words, I would suggest that in today's world on many international trips, it is better to use the Chinese name Kongzi instead of the Latin "Confucius". With great respect for the Western scholars who first went to China and used Latin names, I now think it would be better to use the term that is more familiar to the Chinese.
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