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Chinese Philosophy


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  • 1. Chinese Philosophy Confucianism, Legalism, & Daoism Textbook pages 82-86
  • 2. What is philosophy?• Philosophy: the study, or pursuit of, knowledge and wisdom• Philosopher: one who searches for knowledge and wisdom
  • 3. Confucianism• Kongfuzi (Confucius)- Chinese philosopher, lived from approximately 551-479 B.C.E • Influenced by the political turmoil of the time • Believed that disorder was because rulers were not governing properly
  • 4. Confucianism• People are basically good, but need training to behave well • Family (basics) • Assembled by society
  • 5. Confucius- Five Virtues• Confucius identified five virtues and five relationships that were building blocks of harmonious society• Virtues: Rulers were 1) Honest expected to set 2) Upright an example of the five virtues 3) Conscientious 4) Charitable 5) loving
  • 6. Confucius- Five Relationships• Confucius believed that everyone had duties & responsibilities• Five relationships: 1) father and son 2) ruler and subject 3) older and younger brothers 4) husband and wife 5) friend and friend
  • 7. Five Relationships- ContinuedSuperior position Inferior positionstreat inferiors with owed superiorslove and kindness respect and obedience
  • 8. Confucius• Conclusion: Confucius’ ideas based on ethics and morals• After death, honoured as one of China’s great teachers• Principles important to Chinese society
  • 9. Legalism• Developed around same time as Confucianism• Hans Feizi- most prominent writer• Beliefs: • Government more important than people • Government should be strong, not virtuous • Humans, by nature, are greedy • Only way to orderly society= strict government and harsh punishment
  • 10. Legalism • Chinese people followed Confucian ideas of government • Chinese criminal followed Legalist ideas What do you think this would mean?- Strict- Major crimes punished severely
  • 11. Legalism- China’s Code of Laws• China’s first recorded code of laws- 400 B.C.E • What dynasty would this have been during?• Law had six sections, with laws on: 1) Theft 2) Violence 3) Detention 4) Arrest 5) Miscellaneous laws 6) General laws
  • 12. Laws and Conviction• Accused had to prove innocence • Is this like Canadian law, today?• Five basic penalties:1) Death by strangulation or decapitation2) Exile3) Imprisonment4) Beating with a heavy stick5) Beating with a light stick-Collective punishment: families or villages could bepunished for the crime of one person
  • 13. Daoism• Began during Warring States • What were the “Warring States?”• Laozi- Daoism based on this philosopher• Daoist goal to live in harmony with nature • “following the Dao” achieving harmony • Believed that this could be achieved by studying nature • Did not want to interfere with nature, upsetting nature order
  • 14. Daoism• Doists- believed that nature’s harmony could be copied in human society • Didn’t like rules believe it was forcing people to act a certain way, instead of letting them behave naturally • Also opposed to money and education
  • 15. Daoism and Immortality• Doists sought immortality • Following the Dao • Strengthening their Qi (life force) • Breathing properly • Taking proper medicines • Alchemists • Experimented with plants and metals in search of the elixir of life • Daoist experiments important discoveries in medicine and metallurgy