Free Essay

Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By jkimmy
Words 769
Pages 4
In ancient China many different rulers tried to unify and rule the country using a variety of methods such as Confucianism, Legalism, and Daoism. Each theory has its own set of rules of how people should act both in public and privately. The overall goal of each philosophy was to set a standard, acceptable living that would ensure harmony and success for the society. However, each theory was different and therefore had different results on the dynasties. I believe the best way for the people of Chinese government to succeed in a peaceful, stable, society occurs when both Confucianism and Legalism philosophies are combined.
The theory of Legalism encourages to be scared of your leader, not inspired by them. Almost every crime, had a harsh punishment, which scared people from behaving that way, without question. It gives the people almost no civil rights or personal freedoms outside of the laws they must follow. The legalists believed in the well-being of the state or region, not an individual person. Legalism may be seen as inhumane to many because of all the killings from the forced labor. However, Legalism was a very successful philosophy that did provide China with stability. There were numerous achievements accomplished for China under the Shi Huangdi who followed legalism. “Emperor Qin divided the empire into 40 administrative units called “commanderies” 1 which were further divided into districts and counties. He created separate provinces and districts headed by officials selected for their talent and loyalty. He was responsible for building a complex irrigation system and constructed what is now the Great Wall of China. Shi Huangdi “standardized the written language and legal code, coins and taxes, weights and measures, and even the width of roads and axle width of carts.” Although there were uprisings from the peasants due to the forced labor which eventually led the Qin dynasty to it’s end, Legalism was a very effective way of stabilizing China and upholding the legal code.
The core of Confucianism is humanism. “Confucius believed that a good government depended on good officials, men of jen, or humanity, benevolence virtue and culture.” The term “gentleman” came up in Confucianism as a moral leader who had the vision to move the society toward peace and virtue. A gentleman would be concerned about political leadership and influence others in society to be honorable, hard working, honest, and just. Confucius believed that gentlemen were not born but made, through proper education. However, within Confucianism, class and gender was a huge factor. Women were often considered less important as were lower class peoples. Only the well off male members of society could receive the required education to become a gentleman. If everyone in the government was educated to become a “gentleman” as Confucianism states, he believes that they will put the society’s needs before their own (selfish) needs and encourage harmony throughout the society. To have the education to become a “gentleman” Confucius believes that it is important to start by forming the proper character; respect for others, especially parents and elders. “A young man is to be filial within his family and respectful outside it.” If the government is filled with gentlemen as Confucianism encourages, society would ensure harmony and success for the society.
Daoism was much less focused on the government. As Confucianism required people to act a certain way in public, Daoism required them to act in private and individual way in order to influence harmony in society. Daoism itself follows “The Way”, a natural path that keeps the universe in balance. It basically teaches people to treat nature and the natural world, as well as themselves personally. In my opinion, the concept of Daoism is surprising because the thought of letting things take their course over time is unsettling. Living an excellent life according to the Daoists would have to be trying not to conquer the natural world. To live an excellent life following Daoism, they would do so by flowing with the natural occurrences and processes of the world.
Morphing Legalism and Confucianism philosophies will ensure a peaceful and stable, society. Legalism provides a stable empire due to the strict legal code which accomplished many achievements. Confucianism encourages healthy education which teaches to being a “gentleman” leading to harmony and success for the society. The Daoism theory of treating nature as you treat yourself and letting things take their course (“The Way”) over time does not sound realistic. Combining Legalism and Confucianism will make a stable society while advancing the empire. At the same time there will be peace and harmony among the people without revolts.

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Compare and Contrast Daoism (Taoism), Legalism, and Confucianism.

...Compare and contrast Daoism (Taoism), Legalism, and Confucianism. Daoism, Legalism, and Confucianism share similarities as they worked together to form schools of thought that worked to exercised a deep influence in Chinese political and cultural traditions. They also worked to bring political and social stability to China during the years of the Zhou dynasty and the period of the warring states (Bently, Ziegler & Streets, p.100). The differences among the three is Confucian’s involved themselves in society by holding government positions and made concrete efforts to solve political and social problems while promoting harmony in public life. The Daoism’s believed that it would be pointless to focus on social activism. Instead they focused their time trying to understand the principles of living in harmony as they believed that someday there would be harmony to society as a whole (Bently et. al. p.103). The Legalists were unlike the other two. They did not concern themselves with ethics, morality or property nor did they care about the place of human beings in nature, instead, they placed their focus to the state, which they sought to strengthen and expand at all costs (Bently et. al. p.104). What did each system stress as most important? Daoists thought that they should withdraw from the world of politics and administration so that humans could not live in harmony (Bently et. al. p.103). Legalists’ sought to channel as many individuals as possible......

Words: 452 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Confucianism DBQ

...At the end of the Zhou dynasty, the period of the seven warring states began. During this time, there was no social or political order. China was very chaotic. Three Chinese philosophers emerged, all with different ideas on how to restore order in China. There names were: Confucius, who founded Confucianism; Lao Tzu, who founded Daoism; and Han Fei, who founded Legalism. Legalism and Confucianism both believed in leading China by law. However, Legalists believed in harsh punishment, whereas Confucianists believed punishment would not do China good. Confucianists and Daoists both believed in pleasing the people. But, while Confucianists believed in pleasing people through law and order, Daoists believed that not having laws would please the...

Words: 998 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Notes

...Asian Philosophies – Roundtable Discussion Goal: Conduct research in order to analyze 5 major belief systems in ancient China (and Greater Asia) Activity and Objectives: You will engage in a roundtable discussion with representatives from each of the five philosophies (Confucianism, Legalism, Daoism, Buddhism and Hinduism) to gain an understanding of how people of one country with different philosophical views respond to complex life situations. * You will gain foundational knowledge on Confucianism, Legalism, Daoism, Buddhism and Hinduism. * You will identify the strengths and weaknesses of the belief systems. * You will understand how various philosophies throughout Asia shaped its rich, cultural past. * You will synthesize ideas generated in the roundtable discussion in order to problem solve with their peers. * You will examine the effects contrary philosophies have on social interaction. Roles: Within each group, you will be assigned to one of five philosophies. * Confucianism * Legalism * Daoism/Taoism * Buddhism * Hinduism MY NAME IS: Alana L. Edwards____________________________________________________ MY PHILOSOPHY IS:_Hinduism________________________________________________________ ASIAN PHILOSOPHIES NOTES 5). HINDUISM (pgs. 66-67) Reincarnation – Being reborn in another body. Several religions, including Hinduism, believe that the human spirit returns to Earth in different forms again and......

Words: 1131 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Confucianism vs Legalism

...this paper, I will be discussing two opposing ideologies, Confucianism and Legalism. Towards the later part of ancient China (e.g Han dynasty), states started to adopt a mixture of Confucianism and Legalistic ideology. Why did Legalism and Confucianism fall off? In this paper I will explore and provide my own insights on the shortcomings of both ideologies; how Legalism was more persuasive in getting people to accept their ideas and more effective as an ideology and how Confucianism lost out in both aspects. Persuasiveness of Legalism The central idea of legalism was to provide absolute power to the person in charge and the supremacy of authority. Legalists like Han Fei Zi believed that human nature was “evil” and strict rules should be in place to ensure order, similar to a shepherd and sheeps3. With this theory in mind, the idea of absolute power was very attractive to rulers of states. Rulers will exercise the “two handles” of reward and punishment accordingly to keep their subjects obedient and loyal. This ideology is even more appealing towards newly founded states that lack in the department of control over its subjects. If states can adopt the legalistic way of ruling, rulers can exercise their control over the whole state to maintain order. Therefore it is more likely for rulers to be persuaded into adopting legalism as their state ideology since it aligns with their objectives. When compared to Confucianism where rulers are encouraged to trust officials in......

Words: 2469 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

East Asian Civ from 1500 Essay

...Tong Zhang Pre-Modern East Asian History China: Introduction Written records of Chinese civilization date back to 1200 BCE. Naturally many parts of China have become worldwide attractions due to historical richness. The Dynasties of China covered in this chapter will be: Shang (1600 – 1050 BCE), Zhou (1046 – 256 BCE), Warring States Period (475 – 221 BCE), Qin (221 – 206 BCE) Han (206 BCE – 220 CE). Henan Museum, Zheng Zhou Yellow River Valley (Shang) Today, Zheng Zhou is the provincial capital of the Henan Province and is a fast growing city that is one of the centers of technology and politics in China. Lying on the southern bank of the Yellow River (Huang He) Zheng Zhou is home to many beautiful pagodas, Shaolin Temples, and amazing sceneries. Though a bustling megacity today, Zheng Zhou has been an integral part of since the Shang Dynasty of China starting in 1600 BCE. During the Bronze Age, the huge country we call China today had hardly developed. At the time, people understood very little so the base of Chinese culture known as Di (or god) was created. Di gave the Shang people a sense of predictability and understanding of the world. For example, they used Di to predict whether a harvest was to be good or bad. The Shang people communicated with Di through Oracle Bones and Pyromancy. Ritual specialists would use fire to strike a special oracle bone. The grains in the bone would crack in a certain direction and the Shang people would take that as a......

Words: 2556 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay

Mister

...key characteristics and features of Harappan and Vedic Aryan civilizations East Asia (China) * Explain the role of climate and geography on the emergence of civilization in East Asia * Identify and describe the key features of Shang and Zhou civilization The Americas * Explain the role of climate and geography in the development of civilization in the Americas * Focus on the Olmecs in Mesoamerica and Chavin de Huantar in the Andes Comparing the Four Great Revolutions * Identify and understand the main points of comparison and contrast between Chinese, Indian, Near Eastern, and Mediterranean philosophy and religion Philosophy in China * Identify and understand the key features and messages of Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism and recognize their shared origins and heritage Religion in India * Identify and understand the key features and messages of the Vedic texts, the Upanishadic sages, the Brahmanic tradition, and the Buddhist worldview, and recognize their shared origins and heritage The Religion of the Israelites * Explain the significance of the monotheistic revolution in world history...

Words: 1109 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Historical

...Unit Four: Classical Civilizations: Religion and Classical Civilizations A. Read p. 23 (Yes, again.) 1. Question: What is Animism? Answer in a brief paragraph. B. Townsend Harris High School Founders Day Homework Assignment: Select a single Townsend Harris High School alum, and in a one page double spaced font size 12 typed essay (Intro Paragraph, Body Paragraph(s), Conclusion) discuss how they have had an impact on / contributed to the world. Make sure to include biographic details (Where were they born etc.?) and a discussion of their achievements. If you want to do so, list their numerous achievements after your essay. C. Read pp. 92 – 95: (Excerpts taken from) The Epic of Gilgamesh 1. In two brief paragraphs answer the questions found on page 93 Question 1: How would you define the Mesopotamian ideal of kingship? What is the basis of the monarch’s legitimacy? Question 2: What understanding of the afterlife does the epic suggest? Question 3: How does the Epic of Gilgamesh portray the gods and their relationship to humankind? D. Read pp. 95 – 97: Code of Hammurabi Question 1: What sorts of social problems afflicted ancient Mesopotamia? Question 2: To what extent was Mesopotamia patriarchal? E. Read pp. 181 – 183 Question 1: What as distinctive about the Jewish tradition? That is, what was distinctive about Judaism, what made Judaism different from many other religions of the time? F. Read......

Words: 1045 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Literature

...The Epic of Gilgamesh is one of the earliest known literary works. This Babylonian epic poem arises from stories in the Sumerian language. Although the Sumerian stories are older (probably dating to at least 2100 B.C.), it was probably composed around 1900 BC. The epic deals with themes of heroism, friendship, loss, and the quest for eternal life. Different historical periods are reflected in literature. National and tribal sagas, accounts of the origin of the world and of customs, and myths which sometimes carry moral or spiritual messages predominate in the preurban eras. The epics of Homer, dating from the early to middle Iron age, and the great Indian epics of a slightly later period, have more evidence of deliberate literary authorship, surviving like the older myths through oral tradition for long periods before being written down. As a more urban culture developed, academies provided a means of transmission for speculative and philosophical literature in early civilizations, resulting in the prevalence of literature in Ancient China, Ancient India, Persia and Ancient Greece and Rome. Many works of earlier periods, even in narrative form, had a covert moral or didactic purpose, such as the Sanskrit Panchatantra or the Metamorphoses of Ovid. Drama and satire also developed as urban culture provided a larger public audience, and later readership, for literary production. Lyric poetry (as opposed to epic poetry) was often the speciality of courts and aristocratic......

Words: 590 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Sining at Kultura

...Introduction to Chinese Literature China possesses one of the world's major literary traditions. Its texts have been preserved for over 3,000 years. Reverence for the past has influenced the preservation of these cultural sources, and may have influenced the invention of woodblock printing in the 9th century and moveable type printing in the 12th century. The practice of collecting and reproducing libraries has also played a major role in the transmission of literary tradition. Most important, China can boast an unbroken cultural tradition based on the Chinese script as a language — a written medium — independent of spoken dialectic difference. As literary language became increasingly removed from spoken language, it became less vital and literature took a natural turn toward imitation. Indeed, after the formative classical period that began with Confucius, the literary history of China becomes one of imitation-with-variations of different models. Literature also thus becomes more elitist, for an understanding or appreciation of a text may require familiarity with the models being alluded to. The principal genre of Chinese literature is poetry; early folk songs established the shi (shih) form that crystallized during the Han dynasty and dominated for the next 1,200 years. Beginning with the simple complaints and longings expressed in rhymed couplets of folk songs, this form gradually became more and more complex, or "regulated," until it took years of study to master its......

Words: 2291 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Confucian

...history based on the written records that were found nearly 5,000 years ago. From 475 BC to the end of the 19th century, China went through a long feudal period. It experienced two seemingly contradictory and paradoxical phenomena. Knowing that it was the most violent and chaotic period in ancient Chinese history due to the conflict between the collapse of the traditional Chinese culture and the establishment of a universal empire, it was also considered to be the most creative and innovative one since it was indeed an age wherein philosophers tried to give their personal opinions regarding the world and attempted to contribute something in the history of Chinese philosophy. All the competing Chinese philosophical traditions – Confucianism, Daoism, Legalism and Mohism, among others – trace their origins back to this period which is closely identified with the wellspring of Chinese philosophical, political, and social thought. The battle of ideas among the fabled numerous masters and hundred schools of thought that lasted for more than three centuries, was fought, but at the same time, the moral, political, and social order – presided over by the Zhou – was collapsing, and old institutions and tradition were degenerating and disintegrating. This period was commonly referred to as the Golden Age of Chinese Philosophy, or simply, the period of philosophers. During the Golden Age, the most influential thinker in China was Kong Zi, also known as “Master Kong” or Confucius,...

Words: 2190 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

The Asian History

...The Origins of the Chinese Empire, to 220 C.E. these cities, built by rulers to move troops and supplies, were traveled by traders transporting such items as metal tools and utensils, lacquered wood plates and boxes, silk, pottery, gems, salt, and lumber. A money economy emerged, using copper coins called cash, with center holes for stringing them together for counting and carrying. China's towns and cities were likewise linked into a large economic system . Trade between China and distant lands A metal bell from the Zhou era. was difficult and dangerous, but by the era's end commerce was conducted by sea with Southeast Asia and by land routes crossing Central Asia. The Central Asian Connection Central Asia, a vast expanse to China's north and west where the climate was too dry for farming (Map 2), was home mainly to pastoral nomads who grazed herds on its plateaus and plains. Skilled on horseback, the nomads occasionally attacked Chinese settlements to carry off goods and supplies, but they also spread commerce and useful knowledge. Some nomads, for example, exchanged their Central Asian nomads connect China with other cultures Nomads and Chinese adopt horse riding and crossbows from each other Iron tools and weapons spread to China, enhancing farming and warfare hides, wool, and horses for Chinese silk, pottery, metalware, and wood products and then traded these items with other societies across Central Asia. Over time, connections with the...

Words: 18516 - Pages: 75

Premium Essay

Notes for Ap World Chapter 2

...AP World History - Stearns Chapter 2 – Classical Civilization: China I. Introduction – longest-lived civilization in history A. Isolated 1. Couldn’t learn from other cultures 2. Rare invasions 3. Distinctive identity 4. Relatively little internal chaos w/ decline of Shang dynasty a. Greatest links to classical society B. Intellectual theory 1. Harmony of nature – yin and yang – balance 2. Seek Dao – the way a. Avoid excess b. Appreciate balance of opposites c. Humans part of world, not on outside – like Mediterranean Thesis: China emerged with an unusually well-integrated system in which government, philosophy, economic incentives, the family, and the individual were intended to blend into a harmonious whole. II. Patterns in Classical China A. Pattern of rule 1. Dynasty, family of kings – create strong politics, economy 2. Dynasty grew weak, taxes declined 3. Social divisions increased 4. Invasion or internal rebellion 5. Another dynasty emerged – general, invader, peasant rebel B. Zhou Dynasty – 1029-258 BCE 1. Started decline in 700 BCE 2. Ruled w/ local princes – alliance system a. Successful in agricultural communities – ie manor system Europe b. Princes received land for troops/tax 3. Eventually local leaders ignored central gov’t 4. Contributions a. Extended territory to “Middle Kingdom” – wheat north, rice south 1.......

Words: 1242 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Introduction and General Remarks for Ancient China

...1 ANCIENT CHINA 1 Introduction and General Remarks for Ancient China Ancient civilizations of the Egyptians and Mesopotamians have long disappeared, but Ancient Chinese civilization and its transformation to modern times has lasted as the largest and most enduring one in human history. This is even more remarkable when observing the numerous leitmotifs of the Chinese society that were inaugurated so long ago, and many of these themes still resonate today. Ancestral worship, the Mandate of Heaven, and the numerous philosophical ideas, especially of Confucius, have been practiced or used for thousands of years. Remote and mysterious are two adjectives that Western Society has applied to China until recently. China is the only civilization where western thought had no influence until modern times, and also practically the only large region in the world where western men never ruled. For westerners, Chinese customs seem reversed to theirs. White is the color of mourning for the Chinese not black, and for them the left side is one of honor not the right side. Writing is read vertically from the top right-hand corner downward. These few differences reveal that Chinese culture evolved independently of western influences. One can only marvel at the longevity of Chinese civilization. Influence of Geography 2 Geography has played an important role in Chinese History as in most ancient, medieval, and modern cultures. While 85% of China is arid or inaccessible......

Words: 3234 - Pages: 13

Free Essay

The Chinese Management

...Cultural Revolution. Moves are afoot to shift the Chinese economy more toward the market-oriented end of the spectrum. China’s 1978 open door policy initiated rapid economic development, and consequently exposed china to a flood to Western management practices. CHINA 2 China is a country of old and new and one that is in transition. With the rise of China in the global economy, it has never been more important for business leaders to understand Chinese leadership philosophies and practices. Ancient Chinese thinking and Western ideas have shaped the development of leadership styles in China. Leadership theories (paternalistic leadership as practiced by business leaders in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China), associated with Confucianism, Daoism, Legalism, the Arts of War, and the writings of Mao and Deng are analyzed by both Chinese and Western experts. To set this in a modern business context, top executives, reflect on how ancient Chinese philosophers, modern Chinese leaders, and Western management...

Words: 2123 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Work

...Foundations: c. 8000 B.C.E.–600 C.E. Major Developments 1. Locating world history in the environment and time 1. Environment 1. Geography and climate: Interaction of geography and climate with the development of human society a. Five Themes of Geography – consider these 1. Relative location – location compared to others 2. Physical characteristics – climate, vegetation and human characteristics 3. Human/environment interaction – how do humans interact/alter environ a. Leads to change 4. Movement – peoples, goods, ideas among/between groups 5. Regions – cultural/physical characteristics in common with surrounding areas b. E. Africa first people – 750,000 years ago started to move 1. moving in search of food c. Role of Climate – End of Ice Age 12000 BCE – large areas of N. America, Europe, Asia became habitable – big game hunters already migrated 1. Geographical changes - 3000 BCE Green Sahara began to dry up, seeds to forests – N. America 2. Effect on humans – nomadic hunters didn’t move so much a. Settle near abundant plant life – beginning of civilization b. Sedentary life w/ dependable food supply 3. milder conditions, warmer temperatures, higher......

Words: 8930 - Pages: 36