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The Hundred Schools of Thought (Ancient Chinese Philosophies) - Research Paper Example

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The Hundred Schools of Thought (Ancient Chinese Philosophies)

The phenomenon has remained in the history books of the Chinese nation and given the title “Contention of a Hundred Schools of Thought”. The ideas and thoughts refined and discussed in this period have since then intensely influenced the social consciousness and the lifestyles of the people up to the modern days not just in China but the whole of East Asia . The intellectual part of the society during this time was characteristic of itinerant scholars who were employed by several state rulers most of the time as advisers of the war, government and diplomacy methods. This memorable period in history ended with the coming of the Qin Dynasty together with purge of dissent that flowed after. The major philosophies and characters/tenets of this era include Legalism, Confucianism, Maoism, Taoism, logicians and the school of Ying-yang. The philosophies and characters are believed to have had great impacts in influencing the lifestyles, culture and the social atmosphere in Chinese history. Confucianism Confucianism or “School of scholars’ was the philosophical body that most people believe had the most lasting impacts on the life of Chinese people. The legacy of this line of thought has been written on the Confucian Classics that was later made the traditional society foundation. The Confucianism took place between 551-479 BC, the period being referred to as the Kongzi of the master king2. The philosophy was named after the main founder called Confucius. Confucianism reflects back to the Zhou dynasty early days in order to come up with a political-social order that is ideal. Confucius believed that an effective government system should play a big role in necessitating each individuals prescribed relationships. He insisted that the government system should be in such a way that it ensures the ruler is given his role of ruling and the subject remains a subject. To him, for a king to rule properly, he had to be virtuous. According to Confucianism, social stratifications and the government functions were life facts that had to be sustained by the use of ethical values. To Confucius, his ideal human being went by the title ‘junzi’, meaning a superior person or a gentleman. Mencius or Mengzi (371-289) BC come up with philosophical teaching formulated directly to respond to Confucius work. The impact of the combined Confucius work who served as an interpreter and codifier of an ethical behavior based on relationship system and the emergence of Mencius, who came out as being a developer and synthesizer of Confucianism thoughts, provided the Chinese society with a framework that was comprehensive by which every life aspect was virtually ordered. Many accretions came out of Confucian thoughts immediately and after many years coming from within or without his school. The interpretations that were adapted and made use in the contemporary society gave room for Confucianism flexibility, allowing the essential system of behavior that had been modeled from ancient literature to constitute its philosophical core3. Completely different from Mencius work with reference to the nature of human beings was Xunzi interpretation that took place between c. 300-237 BC. This was another follower of Confucian. Xunzi argued that man cannot be innately good; he believed that goodness ...Show more


HISTORY AND POLITICAL SCIENCE   Your instructor The Hundred Schools of Thought (Ancient Chinese Philosophies) Introduction The Hundred Schools of Thought or simply the traditional Chinese philosophies refer to schools and philosophers that are remembered for the way they flourished in the historical period between 221 BC and 770BC…
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