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Transcript of Ancient China
1766-1122 B.C.E. Shang dynasty (first dynasty with written records)
1028-256 B.C.E. Zhou dynasty
403-221 B.C.E. Era of Warring States
Han dynastyDynasties of the Foundations Period
Both Confucius (Kungfuzi) and Laozi, two important philosophers, lived during the late Zhou Dynasty.
By the end of the Zhou Dynasty, China was a highly developed and wealthy civilization compared to other civilizations at this time. However, China was still not politically unified.
There was a great deal of warfare and instability during the late Zhou, thus scholars such as Confucius and Lao reflected on what would create social harmony and balance.
Classical Chinese Philosophies and Ethical Systems
Confucius (Kong Fuzi) was born in 551 B.C.E., during the late Zhou.He lived during a time of social disorder, war, and change.Confuciuss teachings were recorded by his students in the Analects.Confucian philosophy is concerned with social order, morals, and good government
Confucianism: Major Principles The Five Relationships set up a social order1. father to son2. elder brother to younger brother3. Husband to wife4. ruler to subject5. friend to friendFilial Piety respect and obey parentsLeaders need to be virtuous and set a good example for their subjectsThe Golden Rule
Sayings of Kungfuzi (Confucius)
What you do not wish done to yourself, do not do to others.
Recognize that you know what you know, and that you are ignorant of what you do not know.
"To lead uninstructed people to war is to throw them away." "To see right and not to do it is cowardice." "An oppressive government is more to be feared than a tiger."
To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.
After Confucius himself, Mencius is considered the most famous Confucian scholar. He believed that human nature is inherently good, and that education and moral cultivation must awaken the innate abilities of the human mind. Mencius (c. 372 289 BCE)
Confucianism was the most influential philosophy in China, and laid the foundation for values, morals, and social structure. Confucianism also spread to Korea, Vietnam, and Japan.
Images of Confucius
Founded by Hanfeizi (d. 233 B.C.E)
Based on the belief that human nature is evil and selfish.
Believed social order was achieved through strict leadership and harsh rules and punishment.
This philosophy would greatly influence the emperor credited with uniting China, Qin Shihuangdi.
Founded by Laozi during the late Zhou Dynasty.Laozis teachings are recorded in the Dao De Ching.Believed social harmony and order could be achieved by following the Way (Dao) of nature.Rejected formal social structure and the idea that people must fill specific roles in society.
Laozi (Master Lao)
DaoismDaoists believe in renouncing worldly ambitions to follow the path of least resistance, as nature does. For example, water flows around a rock; it doesnt make the rock an obstacle.
Daoism influenced science, medicine, and the arts in China.
Statue of LaoziTaoist Solitude
What would Chinese Philosophers Do?A student's friends smoke and are trying to get them to start. How do they handle this situation?A student knows that they are failing a class. Students from each of these doctrines know they will be in trouble when their parents find out. How do they handle this situation?A student has just found $20 in the hall. What should they do?A student's parents have just spent a lot of money on a new outfit. The student has been playing around and has gotten ink all over it. What should they tell their parents, or should they?
A student really likes a new student in school, but all the other students are making fun of the new student's clothes. How should the first student act?A student knows that an older brother or sister is cheating on tests. How should the student act?A student sees an opportunity to take something they have really wanted, without being caught. How should that student act?