January 13th, 2018
Thinking like a Historian:
The Chinese Philosophy period began after Zhou
state weakened and the Chinese moved into the Spring and Autumn era. This age
was referred to as “The Hundred Schools of Thought” (770 BC-222 BC). This era,
which was as well subsequent with the Warring State Period, was when many
schools were founded, and the birth of the most influential philosophies were
born: Confucianism, Legalism, and Daoism. Each Philosophy was founded by
different individuals and they each had a different approach, however, they all
worked for the same purpose, to end the conflict in China.
Confucius was the founder of Confucianism, “A
school of moral doctrine that encourages “justice” and “peace”, (Chinese
civilization,20). Confucius philosophy, Confucianism, was based upon every
individual having their own role to follow, rulers being honest and children
respecting their parents. In this philosophy, a father had the most to say, then
followed the eldest son in the family, however, under this philosophy,
questioning an elder was frowned upon.
Legalism was founded by Han Fei Tzu, a man who
believed that intelligence doesn’t derive from a book, but only from the law
itself. Under this philosophy, books were burned, free thinking was halted and
every crime, no matter how minimal it was, were treated in the same matter with
harsh punishment. Instead of uniting and inspiring its people, this philosophy
scared them. Legalism resulted in its people rebelling towards it and causing
it to end. Legalism was not the peoples favorite in ancient China, however it “Greatly influenced the philosophical basis
for the imperial government” ( Chinese Civilization, 21).
Unlike Legalism and Confucianism, Daoism or
Taoism had a totally different approach in its philosophy. Its focus was away
from politics and more into the balancing of the good and bad in the world.
Daoism was focused more on human connecting with nature itself and to “live in harmony” (Chinese
Civilization,21), that having money and power didn’t have any sense of meaning
to it. This philosophy was considered to be the, “second most significant
stream of Chinese thought”. (Chinese Civilizationp.21)
All three philosophies had different ideas and
approaches. Some maybe a bit more stricter and harsher than others, however,
they all shared one similar purpose and that was to end the conflict in china.
One Philosophy ended with the disfavor of its people, yet, combined with
another, it created a new form of government that lasted for centuries. Every
philosophy made a great impact in ancient China in an era where it was needed
the most, for the sake of China and its people. With great impact followed