Analects of Confucius Book 1: Confucius on rightness


Rightness (義/) means having the moral disposition to instinctively or spontaneously do the right thing or act in the right way in any given situation. Alternative translations include “righteousness”, “propriety”, “morality”, “appropriateness”, and “what is right”.

The only reference to rightness in Book 1 of the Analects is made by the disciple Youzi in Chapter 13 when he says: “If your commitments conform to what is right, you will be able to keep your word.”

The meaning of rightness is explored more deeply in the second half of the Analects.

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