From personal cultivation to governing the state in The Great Learning

Note 8. To the Subsection “2. Weaknesses in the Confucian View of Value

Confucius says in The Great Learning: “Things being investigated, knowledge became complete. Their knowledge being complete, their thoughts were sincere. Their thoughts being sincere, their hearts were then rectified. Their hearts being rectified, their persons were cultivated.
Their persons being cultivated, their families were regulated. Their families being regulated, their States were rightly governed. Their States being rightly governed, the whole kingdom was made tranquil and happy.” Confucian Analects, The Great Learning and The Doctrine of the Mean, trans. James Legge (New York: Dover Publications, 1971), 358-59.

The Great Learning was part of The Book of Rites. Zhu Xi (Chu Hsi) characterized the Analects, Mencius, The Doctrine of the Mean, and The Great Learning as The Four Chinese Classics. It is said that The Great Learning is the work of one of Confucius’ disciples.