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Three Chinese Philosophies. Confucianism, Daoism, Legalism. Confucius said to his students,. Shall I teach you what knowledge is? When you know a thing, say that you know it; When you do not know a thing, admit that you do not know it. That is knowledge. Confucius: 551-479bce.

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Three Chinese Philosophies


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    1. Three Chinese Philosophies Confucianism, Daoism, Legalism

    2. Confucius said to his students, • Shall I teach you what knowledge is? When you know a thing, say that you know it; When you do not know a thing, admit that you do not know it. That is knowledge.

    3. Confucius: 551-479bce • The Analects is a book of Confucius’ sayings. • He was born in Lu, in eastern China. • He grew up in a very violent time. • He Deeply respected Chinese traditions such as respecting your ancestors and teachers.

    4. Confucianism • The goal was a just and peaceful society. • Taught, “Do not do to others what you would not want done to you.” • Values such as respect for elders, proper behavior, and love of scholarship became woven into Chinese society.

    5. Laozi says, If you do not want your house to be molested by robbers, Do not fill it with gold and jade. Wealth rank and arrogance add up to ruin, As surely as two and two are four.

    6. Laozi: late 500s bce Tradition says that the great wise man of Daoism is Laozi, the author of the Dao De Jing (The Classic Way and it’s power). Laozi worked in Chinese government until he was 90. When he retired he decided to leave China. Before he left he wrote a short manuscript called the Dao De Jing.

    7. Daoism • Preached a return to a simple way of living. • Emphasized thought, writing and art. • To the Daoist, nature is full of opposites, life and death, light and dark. • Harmony comes from balance, yin and yang (shaded and sunlit). • Encouraged rulers to rule less harshly.

    8. Hanfeizi says, “He who trusts will be controlled by others.”

    9. Hanfeizi: 280- 233 bce His collection of writing is named after him, Hanfeizi. He was a prince in the royal family of the state of Han during the Zhou dynasty. Like Confucius, he wanted a peaceful and orderly society, but disagreed about peoples behavior.

    10. Legalism Based on the idea that people are selfish. Legalist say that rulers should be strict and reward good behavior and severely punish bad behavior. Civil servants should be watched carefully, and anyone who criticized should be banished to northern China. After the Qin dynasty gained control, they adopted Legalist ideas. Many people were put to death for disloyalty and other crimes.