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Copy of Copy of Chinese Philosophies: Daoism, Legalism, Confucianism

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Yossica Godiva

on 21 October 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Copy of Chinese Philosophies: Daoism, Legalism, Confucianism

Chinese Philosophies: Daoism, Legalism, Confucianism
Confucius (Kong Fu Tzu) (551-479 BCE)
Zhou dynasty/Spring and Autumn-Warring States Periods- a time like feudal Europe with many competing kingdoms
kingdom of Lu
known as a great "teacher" in China
It is NOT a religion. It is a secular philosophy based on ethical and moral conduct
***Heaven and the afterlife are beyond human capacity to understand, and one should therefore concentrate instead on doing the right thing in this life.
time when formal education was just beginning in China
"Hundred Schools of Thought" era (700-200 BCE)
filial piety
order and hierarchy- 5 basic relationships
ancestor veneration
highly patriarchal
Sacred texts: Analects (Lunyu), The Five Classics (Wujing) and The 4 Books (Sishu)
Legalism was a political philosophy; it had no religious concerns.
Literal translation: (SCHOOL OF LAW) (Fajia)
Han Fei (Han Feizi), Li Si, Gongsun Yang, Shen Dao and Shen Buhai and Shang Yang were said to have contributed to the creation of Legalism.
emphasizes the need for order
embraced by the first Emperor of China Qin Shihuang (Qin Dynasty)
Eric Huang
Madhav Kunal
Kanak Patel
Maygen Pau
Pd. 9/10
WHAP Religion Project

Brief Definition of each philosophy
Key turning points of each philosophy
Similarities/Differences between each philosophy
Aspects of continuity and change for each philosophy
500 BCE
Literally "Teaching of the Way" (the "Dao")
compassion, moderation, humility
mythical strain of thought
central text- Dao-de Jing
the universe is governed by the "dao"
seeks harmony with universe by acculturating with the dao
unconcerned with politics and material possessions
associated with traditional Chinese medicine and martial arts
embraced alchemy and astrology--> metallurgy and astronomy
fortune-telling (I-Ching)
influenced poetry of Tang dynasty (which was really famous)
feng shui
The End
Beginnings of Daoism
Roots of Daoism
Can be traced back to shamanism (2000 years ago)
Started with 2 divine brother and sister Fu Hsi and Ni Kua. They created mankind and started civilization.
Then came the Yellow Emperor, the first recorded ruler..
1st millenium BCE
wrote the Dao-De Jing (basically the Bible or Torah of Daoism)
It was the formal religion under the 2nd Han Dynasty embraced by Zhang Daoling.
He promised immortality and longevity, but most importantly, emphasized organization--Way of the Celestial Masters.
Zhuangzi, in the 4th century BCE succeeded Laozi--continues the spread of Daoism and further develops it.
During the Tang-Yuan Dynasty
During 200-700 BCE, Daoism faced competition with growing Buddhism with missionaries from India entering China, since Daoists did not believe that life is suffering (which Buddhists did believe). As a result, Daoism and Buddhism clashed often regarding being the official religion ofthe Imperial Court..
Daoism was the official religion of Tang, but was supplanted by Buddhism in later dynasties.
During Yuan dynasty, Daoism tried to win back as official religion of Imperial; however, it lost.
As a result, during much of these times, some Daoist texts were burned.
In around 1254, a priest Wang Chongyang developed the Quanzhen Daoist school. The school practiced meditation and breathing to promote longevity and most of the disciples were vegetarian. During that time, Daoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism were mixed.
As a result, the lines between the 3 sometimes may be blurred.
Daoism Today
During the Cultural Revolution at around 1966-1976 (during Communist Chinese rule), many Daoist temples were destroyed.
However, during the 1980s, some of the temples were rebuilt.
Today, there are still some people who practice Daoism. However, there are also some temples that combined Daoism and Buddhism--therefore sometimes the lines can get tricky.
Different Sects of Daoism
Some sects:
Mulam (also practiced Buddhism)
around in Guangxi
well-developed agriculture and irrigation
traced back to Yuan dynasty
hierarchical structures during the Qing
Maonan (also practied Polytheism)
around in Guangxi
sub-tropical areas, warm weather
There are more.
Beginnings of Confucianism
Confucius (551-479 BCE)
His ideas would not became well-known until 5th century BCE after his death. During the Qin dynasty, strict Legalism flourished, and during Shihuangdi's book-burning and scholar-killing schemes, many Confucian texts were destroyed
He challenged other feudal states during the Spring and Autumn Periods to adopt Confucianism.
His disciples, following his philosophies, were known as the Ru, continuing onwards throughout history, despite persecution during Qin dynasty
Conflicting Views
He had several critics--two of which are Meng-tzu and Xun-tzu. They debated on interpretations and practical applications (politics)
But they were also his successors prior to Han.
They all envisioned a sage-ruler to reunite the empire in order and create prosperity again.
Meng-tzu: He emphasized the Mandate of Heaven once more.
Xun-tzu: He emphasized the familial relationships which Confucius had juxtaposed in his principles.
one of Confucianism's opponents was Mozi.
he argued against the archaic elitism that Confucius preached and argued for intrinsic moral values among all human beings
Laozi argued against Confucius's moral conservatism and Mozi's social utopianism--he wanted everyone to simply go with he flow of nature
Daoist Practices/Beliefs
Purity- Greed, lust, pride, and dishonesty should be avoided.
Meditation- creates mental stillness and enhances mindfulness
Breathing- most important therapy in traditional Chinese medicine
Energy Flow- through exercise (chi gong), meditation, acupuncture, and moxibustion
Martial Arts- Tai chi
Diet- abstinence from alcohol, meat, beans, grains/vegetarianism
Ch'i- cosmic vital energy that enables beings to survive and links them to the universe as a whole
Wu Wei- Letting things take their natural course
Yin-yang- antithesis in nature coincide with each other in perfect harmony
Spiritual Immortality- Historically, the highest achievement of a Daoist (nirvana of Buddhism)
Han Dynasty
206 BCE-220 CE
Confucianism became influential in the the second century BCE. It was recognized as the Han State Cult. Religious elements and sacrifices to Confucius were introduced and the Five Classics became the core of education
The Han dynasty adopted Confucian ideology as a means of legitimizing power and control over its people. His ideas were basis of the civil service exams--exams for government service.
Dong Zhongshu (179 BCE-104 BCE)
He was perhaps most responsible for shaping Confucian ideas during the Han. He created a religious and social structure for dynastic rule, further substantiating the dynastic cycle.
Though Dong had also drawn some ideas from Daoism, such as the need to create a balance between certain forces in nature, the gist of all of this is that:
Without Confucius, there would have be no Confucianism (self-explanatory on why this is valid)
But also, without Dong, then there would not have been Confucianism as we know today--with more than 2000 years of continuity and change.
And another reason explaining the intricate continuity of Confucianism is that Neo Confucianism received governmental support; its teachings were basically solidified and legitimized in the bureaucracy that Han had created, court ritual, and the everyday lives of the people.
And it is still prevalent today, too!
A Conglomeration of the 3 Philosophies
Again, during the Han dynasty, though as said before, Confucianism replaces Legalism (from Qin), there are remains of Legalist thinking. Also, Daoism places a role in this time as well, thanks to Dong as well...
The remains of the 3 are:
Legalist pragmatism- strict application of standards
Confucian ethics- respect across age, class, gender, and hierarchies; this ideology attracts governmental support in part that it instills citizen subservience
Daoist cosmology- views change as a cosmic constant)
This conglomeration of the 3 philosophies sustains until 1911 with the formation of the Republic of China.
A notable depiction of Confucianism blazoned Confucius as a "deity" like form (qilin- of dancing unicorns and dragons)...with his sense of immortality, he was worshipped as a deity after his death---though the followers are really just fascinated with his THOUGHTS, not so much with him as a DEITY.
Confucianism Challenges
From Song--Yuan dynasties, contrasting with Confucianism during the Zhou--Han where Confucianism rose to heights with competition with Daoism and Buddhism, during this period Confucianism also fought to continue to challenge Daoism and Buddhism.
"Neo-Confucianism" arises:
As Confucianism approaches the Ming, followers choose not to use force as a crusade--instead they use "soft power". However its influences in Southeast Asia and its neighbors of Japan and Korea, it places formidable influence on those nations.
As Confucianism approaches the end of the Qing and enters the modern age, along with Western influences, Confucianism begins to wane. However, the "Father of the Nation", Sun Yat Sen embraces Confucianism.
During the anti-Confucianism May Fourth Movement and the Cultural Revolution, many of the new thinkers fled Communist China and sought to preserve Confucianism--a "New Confucianism".
1st, 2nd, 3rd Waves
1st Wave- During Confucius's time (Zhou--Song)
2nd Wave- Neo-Confucianism (Song--Ming)
3rd Wave- New Confucianism (formation of Republic of China and outside of Communist China)
However, today, Communist China has began to re-implement Confucian ideas (ones that they had shunned during Cultural Revolution)...partly due to a scare that their moral structure had deteriorated a bit (divorce rates rose).
Philosophical Beliefs
The Five Bonds (i.e. Ruler to Ruled, Father to Son)
Meritocracy : Political philosophy that holds power should be vested in individuals according to merit - Led to the introduction of the Imperial Examination System (Civil Servant Exams administered by the government) in China during the Sui Dynasty
Basic Virtues: Rén (obligation of altruism), Yì (moral disposition to do good), Li (etiquette), and Zhōng (loyalty)
Filial Piety (Xiào) : The important virtue and primary duty of respect, obedience, and care for one's parents and elderly family members - Led to the veneration of ancestors
Taijitu - symbol for the concept of yin and yang
Philosophical Beliefs
Efficient and powerful governments
Government should use law to promote harmony
Stringent rules and punishments to restore order (social control)
Controlled ideas and actions
Humans are, by nature, evil (selfish)
During the Warring States Period, things changed so the rulers had to be strong, and the public was to follow the ruler.
The three main founders of Legalism (Three individuals, Shang Yang, Han Feizi and Li Si), wanted to make a stronger gov’t in which people would follow Legalism and follow the laws much more closely. Under Legalism, one of the worst crimes that a person could commit was to be disloyal to their rulers. The country had to be of main importance (instead of self). They had administrative provinces that ruled over certain areas in the country.
The Beginnings Of Legalism
Warring States Period
• Prominent during the Warring States Era (475-221 B.C.E.), also known as the Contending States, the designation for at least seven small Chinese kingdoms whose long-running feuds effectively constituted this era in Chinese history. This period was one of the most productive and influential, although chaotic
Original Scriptures/texts
Shang Yang (d. 338 BCE), the author of The Book of Lord Shang. He was the governor of the state of Qin and strengthened it, which allowed for the unification of China in the next century. It is said that legalism was founded in the state of Qin.
The Hanfeizi, the book written by Han Fei, talks about an autocratic government.
Han Fei, Legalism’s famous founder, believed three things were essential to this philosophy for the ruler:
• Fa (law): Everyone was equal before the law, which must be explicitly written and publicized. People who obeyed laws would be rewarded; likewise, lawbreakers would be punished. This system guaranteed predictability of consequences, and equality under a system that was run by laws and not by the emperor.

• Shu (method): Rulers had to enforce special strategies (often covert) to make sure that others don’t take the control of the state. In this way, no one will know the ruler’s way of thinking, so that they won’t know how to be a ruler. Therefore, they follow the laws.

• Shi (Legitimacy): The position of the ruler holds power. No person holds power such as the ruler.
"real ruler"

Change And Continuity Over Time
Differences between Confucianism, Taoism and Legalism.
Confucianism- Respect, hard work, education and ancestor worship.
Daoism- Purpose of life, seek answers to life's problems (meditation), life is simple
Legalism- political philosophy, power to leader
Qin Dynasty (221- 206 BCE)
Emperor Shi Huangdi admired the Legalist scholar Han Fei Zi. Qin Shi Huangdi was the First Emperor of Qin.

After the unification of China, with all other schools of thought banned, legalism became the endorsed ideology of the Qin Dynasty. The entire system was set up to make model citizens behave and act how the dynasty wanted. The laws supported by the Legalists were meant to support the state, the emperor, and his military.

-complaining = death
-Bureaucracy =provinces
-Spies find lawbreakers
-Qin took land away from nobles
-Family came second

FALL Of DYNASTY = after emperor died, people rebelled against the harsh totalitarian rule

Han Dynasty (202 BCE-220 CE)
Still has the unified political system from the Qin--the influences from legalist ways
However, it was still mostly Confucianism by Han Wudi
However, they also adopt the view of Confucians that government should be run by educated men.
decried the harsh austerity measures imposed under Legalist Qin
Used Confucianism's principles and its basic relationships to legitimize power
-civil service examinations
-allowed them to rule the land by morals and ethics
Legalism is not the main philosophy of Dynasties after the Qin Dynasty. Because it wasn't liked as much, it was never the main philosophy. However, some aspects of it did continue to be a part of future dynasties.
Another example of how Legalism aspects continued to be a part of future Dynasties
Neo-Confucianism was a revived version of old Confucian principles that appeared around the Song Dynasty; however, being a conglomeration of Buddhist, Taoist, and Legalist features.
Since it was a revival of Confucianism, it was a more orthodox sect of Confucianism--meaning, it tried to "recreate" Confucianism as Confucius interpreted it.
Though it was already adulterated by the other religions.
Legalism also appears in other dynasties after the Qin--though not a lot--which can be traced to sometimes during the Tang, Neo-Confucianism of the Song, Yuan, Ming, and the concept of Communism embraced by the CCP has concepts of Legalism, though not directly speaking.
Shang Yang
Legalism today is pretty much dead..during the peak of the CCP, maybe parts of Legalism could be identified, but through time, Legalism basically wanes. And before the CCP, Legalism was just like in the "background", just a part of Chinese culture and history.
If Han Feizi were to see his philosophy today, he would be very disappointed.....
Legalism Today
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