- Daniel K. Gardner
Confucius lived in a period of the Zhou dynasty when China had splintered into small, independent, warring states ruled over by feudal lords whose authority was maintained not through moral behavior and genuine concern for the welfare of the people, but through laws, punishments, and force. ‘Confucius (551–479 bce) and his legacy’ shows that many thinkers attempted to address these problems, but Confucius' socio-political and philosophical teachings did not win immediate, universal acclaim. The Analects, a collection of his teachings recorded by his disciples, achieved its present form in the second century bce. Its two main concerns are: (1) what makes for a good man; and (2) what makes for good government.