Followers of Confucius: Shen Cheng

Shen Cheng (申棖) is said to have come from Confucius’s home state of Lu and may possibly have been the follower called Shen Dang in the Records of the Grand Historian by Sima Qian.

Shen is featured only once in the Analects. He was known for his love of argument and refusal to concede defeat even when he was on the losing side. Some of Shen’s peers saw this as a sign of strength and resoluteness, but Confucius saw his need to win at all costs as a sign of weakness because it demonstrated his inability to control his internal desires and compulsions.

Appearances in the Analects of Confucius
Book 5, Chapter 11

Book 5
Chapter 11
子曰:「吾未見剛者。」或對曰:「申棖。」子曰:「棖也慾,焉得剛?」
Confucius said: “I’ve never seen a person who is truly resolute.” Someone replied: “How about Shen Cheng?” Confucius said: “Shen Cheng is a slave to his desires. How can he be called resolute?”

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *