Simple Confucianism

By C. Alexander Simpkins

12 ratings - 3.33* vote

This text explains the philosophy, history and practice of Confucianism in simple terms. Some of the concepts discussed include the Tao of Humanity, meditation, music and art, and the possible healing effect of benevolence practised in government.

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Book details

Paperback, 184 pages
June 15th 2000 by Tuttle Publishing
Original Title
Simple Confucianism: A Guide to Living Virtuously
0804831777 (ISBN13: 9780804831772)
Edition Language

Community Reviews


This book has three parts, the history of Confucianism, the main concepts, and the application. It is written in the introductory style, short and simple. The biggest setback is names and concepts are written in Wade–Giles system, which is hard for people who are only familiar with pinyin to follow. I wish there were some Chinese characters and/or pinyin.

Key takeaways:
- Confucianism looks back to the mythical/ancient past of Chinese cultures for virtues to follow.
- Just like other major religions, Confucianism evolves by merging and adopting ideas from other school of thoughts/religions, like Taoism, Buddhism, Legalism, etc. There are also different branches of Confucianism.
- Confucianism theme revolves around how to live and be in relationship. It emphasizes Ren (benevolence and kindness), Li (principles), Wen (arts and cultures), and Zhong (means).
- Confucianism way of life start with meditating (think about what you are going to do) then taking action mindfully and with dignity.
- Confucianism values the harmony and art appreciation, including martial arts.
- Silver Rule: Do not do to others what you would not have them do to you.
- Learn from exemplary people, lead with virtues, do the right thing no matter if it will bring benefits or not, and look inward to cultivate yourself.

Paiman Chen



It is full of history so I got very little out of the belief. It criss crosses between Confucianism to Taoism throught the book. The best thing I got out of the whole book is that mostly it is a book that continually says has the same message, "Do unto others as they would have them do unto you." I have found that most religions practice this philosophy.

I do not agree with the evaluation of the book. The only two religions spoken was Confucianism and Taoism. You will be more confused reading it than trying some other book. I was disappointed!ISBN 0804831777 (ISBN13: 9780804831772)

Sam Kroll

I just can't get myself to finish this book. I might flip through and skim, but as far as actually reading this book, too dry for my tastes. Might be the boring history that you have to conquer in the beginning. Gonna mark this down as something for someone who likes lots of historical facts before they get into the actual beliefs stuff.