Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are. Perhaps the most widely read thinker of all time, Confucius transformed Chinese philosophy with his belief that the greatest goal in life was pursuit of The Way': a search for virtue not as a means to rewards in this world or the next, but as the pinnacle of human existence.
Confucius [551-479 BC], though of noble descent, was born in humble circumstances. He believed that politics is only an extension of morals, and spent ten years travelling through the various states of China spreading his ideas. When he realised that there was no way of converting the feudal rulers to his way of thinking he returned to Lu and spent the rest of his life there teaching his pupils. D.C Lau has held a number of professorships in the field of Chinese language and literature.