Author: changabula

Chinese Philosophy, Thoughts and Wisdom [Copy link] 中文

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The early legalist representatives are Li Li, Wu Qi, Shang Yang, Shen Buhai, and Shen Dao.

Li Li wrote the Fajing (Law Classics), which is considered the earliest statue book in China.

Wu Qi deployed troops with great skills, and attached great importance on making the law known to everyone, improving on Li Li's thought.

Shang Yang conducted political reforms in the State of Qin, promoted the supremacy and equality of law, and advocated the importance of punishment and incentive. His efforts brought order and prosperity to the State of Qin, laying a solid foundation for the state to unify China later.

Shen Buhai is known for his ideas on Shu (method), and considered it an important way for the ruler to manage the ministers and seek political achievements.

Shen Dao played an important role into transforming the Taoist ideas into Legalism, and advocated the importance of Shi (legitimacy) for the rule of an emperor.
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Post time 2007-8-14 16:09:20 |Display all floors
Mohist philosophy
http://www.chinaculture.org/gb/e ... 7/content_73492.htm

Founded by Mo Di (usually known as Mozi), Mohism, or Moism, is a Chinese philosophy that evolved at the same time as Confucianism in the Warring States Period (475-221BC).

Mo Di's philosophy was described in the book Mozi, compiled by his students from lecture notes.


Contribution
Mohism was the only school of thought that could contend with Confucianism during the Warring States Period. Though the thought is not as longstanding or well established as Confucianism, its propositions like centralized political power, universal love, anti-war, anti-extravagance sociological notions, respect for heaven and gods, and indeterminism in religious thoughts, as well as Mozi's rational and practical attitude in science have all left their marks in Chinese philosophy and people's daily lives.

Author: Jeff

[ Last edited by changabula at 2007-8-14 04:12 PM ]
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Basic ideas of Mohism

Mohism and Confucianism are considered renowned schools in ancient Chinese philosophy. Though also rooted in the cultural tradition of the Western Zhou Dynasty (about 11th century -771BC) like Confucianism, Mohism focused on the importance and methods of "doing good for the society" and "removing the bad things from society."

The theoretic premise for this notion is Mozi's famous thought of universal love -- an equal affection for all individuals. This universal love is what makes people good. The advocacy of universal love was a target of attack by other schools, most notably the Confucians, who believed, for example, that children should hold a greater love for their parents than for random strangers.

Meanwhile, Mozi, the founder of Mohism, thinks that the wisdom and power of heaven and god greatly surpasses that of ancient saint. Heaven can punish and is a force to encourage moral righteousness.

In Mohism, morality is not defined by tradition, but rather by a constant moral guide that parallels utilitarianism. Traditionalism is inconsistent, and humans need an extra-traditional, supernatural guide to identify which traditions are acceptable. The moral guide must then promote and encourage social behaviors that maximize general utility.

The social philosophy of Mohists is aggressive and enterprising. Their usual attitude is "If I can't do it, who can?" Not only do they discuss universal love and condemn aggression in the relationships among countries, families, and individuals, they also participate in various anti-war movements and social constructions. Mohist philosophers also strive to realize their ideal of an equal and harmonious world. From the perspective of a common citizen, they also contribute to the simple and conservative trend in Chinese philosophy by underlying thrift, prudence, and stopping waste.
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Mozi

Mozi is the representative of Mohist philosophy, and his ideas can be summed up in his famous "ten doctrines." He rationalized his political, social, and ethical thoughts with the help of the religious belief. Mozi's attitude towards science is also noteworthy. He not only gave his definitions on various notions in philosophy, but also made considerable contributions in establishing scientific methods, writing scientific teaching materials, and imparting scientific thoughts, resulting in the high level of Chinese research and development in very early ages.

After the death of Mozi, Mohism split into many different genres. Their common feature is that studied and researched on the book Mozi, based on which developed two basic trends: one stressing nature and science, and the other focusing on religious beliefs.

Mozi's ten doctrines

1. Elevating the Worthy -- rulers should honor the worthy and employ the able rather than advance relatives and favorites.

2. Conforming to Superiors -- the people must be of one mind with their superiors so that unity is maintained.

3. Universal Love -- it is only by unconditional love that allows no special treatment for one's own kin that a secure society can be constructed.

4. Condemnation of Aggression -- warfare is always unprofitable, and if rulers could be taught this simple truth, there would be peace.

5. Moderation in Expenditures -- the state should expend its resources only on those things that bring benefit to the people.

6. Moderation in Funerals -- the sages had simple funerals and the Confucian doctrines advocating elaborate funerals and extended periods of mourning are falsifications of antiquity.

7. The Will of Heaven or Honoring Heaven -- the clearest standard in the world, which Mo Di would use as his square and compass.

8. Explaining the Spirits or Serving the Spirits -- a defense of the traditional belief in spirits and a refutation of Confucian skepticism.

9. Condemnation of Music -- a refutation of Confucian doctrines advocating elaborate musical performances as instruments of state ceremony.

10. Condemnation of Fate -- Fatalism fails to meet a series of justificatory criteria and so must be rejected. It is also a refutation of the fatalistic doctrines of some Confucian scholars.
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Yin-Yang School
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Zou Yan is the representative of the Yin-Yang School, and the Records of Great Historian by Sima Qian had notes about him. Lu's Spring and Autumn Annals was compiled under the sponsorship of Lu Bubei, prime minister o the State of Qin in the late Warring States Period (475-221BC).

The school is based on the theories of Yin-Yang and the Five Elements. Such theories attempted to explain the universe in terms of basic forces in nature: the complementary agents of Yin (dark, cold, female, negative) and Yang (light, hot, male, positive) and the Five Elements (water, fire, wood, metal, and earth).

In its early days, these theories were most strongly associated with the states of Yan and Qi. In later periods, these epistemological theories came to hold significance in both philosophy and popular belief.

The relationship between Yin-Yang and the Five Elements are as follows: the universe is run by a single principle, the Tao, or Great Ultimate. This principle is divided into two opposite principles, or two principles that oppose one another in their actions, Yin and Yang. All the opposites one perceives in the universe can be reduced to one of the opposite forces. The Yin and Yang accomplish changes in the universe through the Five Elements, which both produce one another and overcome one another. All change in the universe can be explained by the workings of Yin and Yang and the progress of the Five Elements as they either produce one another or overcome one another. Yin-Yang and the Five Elements are a universal explanatory principle. All phenomena can be understood using Yin-Yang and the Five Elements: the movements of the stars, the workings of the body, the nature of foods, the qualities of music, the ethical qualities of humans, the progress of time, the operations of government, and even the nature of historical change. All things follow this order so that all things can be related to one another in some way: one can use the stars to determine what kind of policy to pursue in government, for instance.

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Post time 2007-8-14 16:16:21 |Display all floors
School of Logicians

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The School of Logicians, or School of Names, was born under the backdrop of tumultuous social chaos in the Spring and Autumn Period (770-475BC) when the Chinese social structure experienced major changes. There are two sources in this origin of the thought, Confucianism and Mohism. In addition, Legalism and Taoism also influenced School of Logicians in their own ways.

The Logicians dealt with the relation of names to realities. They were thought to have emerged from officers concerned with rank and position in the court and with the ceremonies to which such rank and position entitled an officer.

The School of Logicians philosophy is said to have parallels with that of the Ancient Greek sophists or dialecticians. However, the school does not enjoy a very high position in traditional Chinese studies, and its influence is very limited.


  Important philosopher


Gongsun Longzi is a noted member of the School of Logicians in Chinese philosophy. Gongsun lived during the Warring States Period. His most famous work is called Bai Ma Fei Ma, literally, "A white horse is not a horse." The book is structured as conversation between two parties, with one party proclaiming truth in the statement and the other questioning it. The argument plays upon the dual semantic meanings of informal language, in particular the dual interpretations of 'is', being either:
"Is a member of the class entitled (x)," or "Is identical to concept (x)."

Thus, a white horse is not a horse, because the concept of a white horse is not the same as the concept of a horse.

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