Classical & Modern Chinese Philosophy

According to researchers, Confucianism is considered as one of the best philosophical schools creatively developed from the unique teachings from the Analects of Confucius. It is a type of system that is associated with religious, political, social and moral thought which has had tremendous influence in the history of Chinese culture. There are some Westerners that recognize Confucianism as their state religion of imperial China. Confucianism also influences other countries including Japan and Korea. Most of the Confucian concepts include “ren” which means humaneness or humanity, zhengming or also known as rectification of names, xiao or filial piety, zhong or loyalty and ritual. Confucius is also the one who taught negative and positive versions of the well known Golden Rule. The concepts of Yang and Yin represent the two opposing forces leading to change and perpetual contradiction.


Daoism developed into a religion that is based on Dao Te Ching. The term Dao means way or path however in Daoism, it is typically referred as meta physical term. It is also focus on what is being perceived and this is one of the reasons why they strive hard for harmony and at the same time minimizing the harmful interference with human affairs and nature.


Legalism is a Chinese political philosophy made by a philosopher named Han Fei. According to him, rulers must govern their subjects with Shi — charisma, power or legitimacy, Shu — statecraft, art, tactic and method, and Fa — principle or law. In connection with this, Legalism is considered as the chosen philosophy of Qin Dynasty. The Han Fei and Shang Yang are the one that promoted the adherence to the law. It is a fact that philosophy is highly progressive and it is extremely critical to Mohist and Confucian schools.


The Yin-Yang school is a part of Warring States period that synthesize the overall concept of five elements and yin-yang. The founder of this school is Zou Yan and most of his theory explain basic universal forces. The yin agents include negative, female, cold and dark and the elements of yang includes positive, male, hot and light. The five elements or phases include earth, metal, wood, fire and water. In the recent year, this kind of theory is being associated with the states of Qi and Yan.


This kind of philosophy school is founded by Mozi wherein it promotes mutual benefit and universal love. According to Mozi, it is very important to love one another impartially and equally to prevent the occurrence of war and conflict. Mozi was against the ritual of Confucian. Mozi instead emphasized pragmatic survival in the form of statecraft, fortification and farming.

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