Practice 7: Chinese Philosophies
China went through a series of
, or rule by a certain family, each marked by a different political and social philosophy. This table will help you recognize the differences between these philosophies.
Confucianism Legalism Daoism Who was thefounder?
Confucius; a lower class nobleand accountant in the Zhou(pronounced JOE) Dynasty Han Fei; a prince who livedduring the Zhou dynasty whoreceived a Confucian educationLaozi; a Chinese wise person or
, who may or may not haveexisted in real life
Why was itfounded?
Confucius grew sad after he saw the Zhou dynasty begin to weakendue to endless battles over powerHan Fei did not agree withConfucian teachings and thoughtthey would lead to a weak andunstable society Laozi believed that striving for wealth and power was unnatural
The Way and itsPower
What does thePhilosophythink about people?
Confucianism teaches that people want to be good, but need goodexamples to show them how tobehave.Legalism teaches that people arebasically selfish and evil and thatthey need strict rules andpunishments.People are good, and it is society that makes people bad. In orderto improve our world, we mustreturn to nature.
How should people act insociety?
People should work on showing proper behavior, or
. They should always work to improvethemselves.Rulers should create detailed lawsand enforce them very strictly.People should follow the rulesand not question thegovernment.People should act as they wouldin nature, becoming one withthe Dao, or the Way, a life forcethat connects all things. They should accept all parts of life,and let the world flow like water.Daoists should seek a balancedlife, with both
,because you cannot have good without bad or beauty withoutugliness. Because good and badare connected, you must accepteverything in life.