Chinese philosophy

Chinese philosophy

Overview

Chinese philosophy is philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 written in the Chinese
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 tradition of thought. The majority of traditional Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn and Warring States
Warring States Period
The Warring States Period , also known as the Era of Warring States, or the Warring Kingdoms period, covers the Iron Age period from about 475 BC to the reunification of China under the Qin Dynasty in 221 BC...

 era, during a period known as the "Hundred Schools of Thought
Hundred Schools of Thought
The Hundred Schools of Thought were philosophers and schools that flourished from 770 to 221 BC during the Spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period , an era of great cultural and intellectual expansion in China...

", which was characterized by significant intellectual and cultural developments. Although much of Chinese philosophy begins in the Warring States period, elements of Chinese philosophy have existed for several thousand years; some can be found in the Yi Jing
I Ching
The I Ching or "Yì Jīng" , also known as the Classic of Changes, Book of Changes and Zhouyi, is one of the oldest of the Chinese classic texts...

 (the Book of Changes), an ancient compendium of divination
Divination
Divination is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of an occultic standardized process or ritual...

, which dates back to at least 672 BCE.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Chinese philosophy'
Start a new discussion about 'Chinese philosophy'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia

Chinese philosophy is philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 written in the Chinese
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 tradition of thought. The majority of traditional Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn and Warring States
Warring States Period
The Warring States Period , also known as the Era of Warring States, or the Warring Kingdoms period, covers the Iron Age period from about 475 BC to the reunification of China under the Qin Dynasty in 221 BC...

 era, during a period known as the "Hundred Schools of Thought
Hundred Schools of Thought
The Hundred Schools of Thought were philosophers and schools that flourished from 770 to 221 BC during the Spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period , an era of great cultural and intellectual expansion in China...

", which was characterized by significant intellectual and cultural developments. Although much of Chinese philosophy begins in the Warring States period, elements of Chinese philosophy have existed for several thousand years; some can be found in the Yi Jing
I Ching
The I Ching or "Yì Jīng" , also known as the Classic of Changes, Book of Changes and Zhouyi, is one of the oldest of the Chinese classic texts...

 (the Book of Changes), an ancient compendium of divination
Divination
Divination is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of an occultic standardized process or ritual...

, which dates back to at least 672 BCE. It was during the Warring States era that the major philosophies of China, Confucianism
Confucianism
Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius . Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han...

, Mohism
Mohism
Mohism or Moism was a Chinese philosophy developed by the followers of Mozi , 470 BC–c.391 BC...

, Legalism
Legalism
Legalism may refer to:In philosophy:* Legalism , Chinese political philosophy based on the idea that a highly efficient and powerful government is the key to social order....

, and Taoism
Taoism
Taoism refers to a philosophical or religious tradition in which the basic concept is to establish harmony with the Tao , which is the mechanism of everything that exists...

, arose, along with philosophies that later fell into obscurity, like Agriculturalism
Agriculturalism
Agriculturalism, also known as the School of Agrarianism, the School of Agronomists, the School of Tillers, and in Chinese as the Nongjia , was an early agrarian Chinese philosophy that advocated peasant utopian communalism and egalitarianism...

, Chinese Naturalism
School of Naturalists
The School of Naturalists or the School of Yin-yang was a Warring States era philosophy that synthesized the concepts of yin-yang and the Five Elements; Zou Yan is considered the founder of this school...

, and the Logicians.

Following the Qin Dynasty, Confucianism became the dominant philosophical school of China. The largest philosophical rivals to Confucianism were Legalism and Mohism before the Han dynasty. Legalism as a coherent philosophy dissapeared largely due to its relationship with the unpopular authoritarian rule of Qin Shi Huang
Qin Shi Huang
Qin Shi Huang , personal name Ying Zheng , was king of the Chinese State of Qin from 246 BC to 221 BC during the Warring States Period. He became the first emperor of a unified China in 221 BC...

, however, many of its ideas and institutions would continue to influence Chinese philosophy until the end of Imperial rule during the Xinhai Revolution
Xinhai Revolution
The Xinhai Revolution or Hsinhai Revolution, also known as Revolution of 1911 or the Chinese Revolution, was a revolution that overthrew China's last imperial dynasty, the Qing , and established the Republic of China...

. Mohism though popular at first due to its emphasis on brotherly love versus harsh Qin Legalism, fell out of favour during the Han Dynasty
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

 due to the efforts of Confucians in establishing their views as political orthodoxy. The Six Dynasties
Six Dynasties
Six Dynasties is a collective noun for six Chinese dynasties during the periods of the Three Kingdoms , Jin Dynasty , and Southern and Northern Dynasties ....

 era saw the rise of the Xuanxue
Xuanxue
Xuanxue , Neo-Taoism, or Neo-Daoism is the focal school of thought in Chinese philosophy from the third to sixth century CE. Xuanxue philosophers combined elements of Confucianism and Taoism to reinterpret the Yijing, Daodejing, and Zhuangzi.The name compounds xuan 玄 "black, dark; mysterious,...

 philosophical school and the maturation of Chinese Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, which had entered China from India during the Late Han Dynasties. By the time of the Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

 five-hundred years after Buddhisms arrival into China, it had transformed into a thoroughly Chinese religious philosophy dominated by the school of Zen Buddhism
Zen
Zen is a school of Mahāyāna Buddhism founded by the Buddhist monk Bodhidharma. The word Zen is from the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese word Chán , which in turn is derived from the Sanskrit word dhyāna, which can be approximately translated as "meditation" or "meditative state."Zen...

. Neo-Confucianism
Neo-Confucianism
Neo-Confucianism is an ethical and metaphysical Chinese philosophy influenced by Confucianism, that was primarily developed during the Song Dynasty and Ming Dynasty, but which can be traced back to Han Yu and Li Ao in the Tang Dynasty....

 became highly popular during the Song Dynasty
Song Dynasty
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a...

 and Ming Dynasty
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

 due in large part to the eventual combination of Confucian and Zen Philosophy.

Confucianism
Confucianism
Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius . Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han...

 represents the collected teachings of the Chinese sage Confucius
Confucius
Confucius , literally "Master Kong", was a Chinese thinker and social philosopher of the Spring and Autumn Period....

, who lived from 551 to 479 BCE. His philosophy concerns the fields of ethics and politics, emphasizing personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice, traditionalism, and sincerity. The Analects stress the importance of ritual, but also the importance of 'ren', which loosely translates as 'human-heartedness, Confucianism, along with Legalism
Legalism (Chinese philosophy)
In Chinese history, Legalism was one of the main philosophic currents during the Warring States Period, although the term itself was invented in the Han Dynasty and thus does not refer to an organized 'school' of thought....

, is responsible for creating the world’s first meritocracy
Meritocracy
Meritocracy, in the first, most administrative sense, is a system of government or other administration wherein appointments and responsibilities are objectively assigned to individuals based upon their "merits", namely intelligence, credentials, and education, determined through evaluations or...

, which holds that one's status should be determined by education and character rather than ancestry, wealth
Wealth
Wealth is the abundance of valuable resources or material possessions. The word wealth is derived from the old English wela, which is from an Indo-European word stem...

, or friendship
Friendship
Friendship is a form of interpersonal relationship generally considered to be closer than association, although there is a range of degrees of intimacy in both friendships and associations. Friendship and association are often thought of as spanning across the same continuum...

.Confucianism was and continues to be a major influence in Chinese culture, the state of China
History of China
Chinese civilization originated in various regional centers along both the Yellow River and the Yangtze River valleys in the Neolithic era, but the Yellow River is said to be the Cradle of Chinese Civilization. With thousands of years of continuous history, China is one of the world's oldest...

 and the surrounding areas of Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

.

During the 19th and 20th centuries, Chinese philosophy integrated concepts from Western philosophy
Western philosophy
Western philosophy is the philosophical thought and work of the Western or Occidental world, as distinct from Eastern or Oriental philosophies and the varieties of indigenous philosophies....

. Anti-Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

 revolutionaries, involved in the Xinhai Revolution
Xinhai Revolution
The Xinhai Revolution or Hsinhai Revolution, also known as Revolution of 1911 or the Chinese Revolution, was a revolution that overthrew China's last imperial dynasty, the Qing , and established the Republic of China...

, saw Western philosophy as an alternative to traditional philosophical schools; students in the May Fourth Movement
May Fourth Movement
The May Fourth Movement was an anti-imperialist, cultural, and political movement growing out of student demonstrations in Beijing on May 4, 1919, protesting the Chinese government's weak response to the Treaty of Versailles, especially the Shandong Problem...

 called for completely abolishing the old imperial institutions and practices of China. During this era, Chinese scholars attempted to incorporate Western philosophical ideologies such as democracy
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

, Marxism
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

, socialism
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

, liberalism
Liberalism
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

, republicanism
Republicanism
Republicanism is the ideology of governing a nation as a republic, where the head of state is appointed by means other than heredity, often elections. The exact meaning of republicanism varies depending on the cultural and historical context...

, and nationalism
Nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

 into Chinese philosophy. The most notable examples are Sun Yat-Sen
Sun Yat-sen
Sun Yat-sen was a Chinese doctor, revolutionary and political leader. As the foremost pioneer of Nationalist China, Sun is frequently referred to as the "Father of the Nation" , a view agreed upon by both the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China...

's Three Principles of the People
Three Principles of the People
The Three Principles of the People, also translated as Three People's Principles, or collectively San-min Doctrine, is a political philosophy developed by Sun Yat-sen as part of a philosophy to make China a free, prosperous, and powerful nation...

 ideology and Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

's Maoism
Maoism
Maoism, also known as the Mao Zedong Thought , is claimed by Maoists as an anti-Revisionist form of Marxist communist theory, derived from the teachings of the Chinese political leader Mao Zedong . Developed during the 1950s and 1960s, it was widely applied as the political and military guiding...

, a variant of Marxism–Leninism. In the modern People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, the official ideology is Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping was a Chinese politician, statesman, and diplomat. As leader of the Communist Party of China, Deng was a reformer who led China towards a market economy...

's "market economy socialism
Socialist market economy
The socialist market economy or socialist market economy with Chinese characteristics is the official term used to refer to the economic system of the People's Republic of China after the reforms of Deng Xiaoping. It is also referred to as socialism with Chinese characteristics...

".

Although the People's Republic of China has been historically hostile to the philosophy of ancient China, the influences of past are still deeply ingrained in the Chinese culture. In the post-Chinese economic reform
Chinese economic reform
The Chinese economic reform refers to the program of economic reforms called "Socialism with Chinese characteristics" in the People's Republic of China that were started in December 1978 by reformists within the Communist Party of China led by Deng Xiaoping.China had one of the world's largest...

 era, modern Chinese philosophy has reappeared in forms such as the New Confucianism
New Confucianism
New Confucianism is an intellectual movement of Confucianism that began in the early 20th century in Republican China, and revived in post-Mao era contemporary China. It is deeply influenced by, but not identical with, the Neo-Confucianism of the Song and Ming dynasties...

. As in Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, philosophy in China has become a melting pot of ideas. It accepts new concepts, while attempting also to accord old beliefs their due. Chinese philosophy still carries profound influence amongst the people of East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

, and even Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

.

Early beliefs


Early Shang Dynasty
Shang Dynasty
The Shang Dynasty or Yin Dynasty was, according to traditional sources, the second Chinese dynasty, after the Xia. They ruled in the northeastern regions of the area known as "China proper" in the Yellow River valley...

 thought was based upon cyclicity. This notion stems from what the people of the Shang Dynasty
Shang Dynasty
The Shang Dynasty or Yin Dynasty was, according to traditional sources, the second Chinese dynasty, after the Xia. They ruled in the northeastern regions of the area known as "China proper" in the Yellow River valley...

 could observe around them: day and night cycled, the seasons progressed again and again, and even the moon waxed and waned until it waxed again. Thus, this notion, which remained relevant throughout Chinese history, reflects the order of nature. In juxtaposition, it also marks a fundamental distinction from western philosophy
Western philosophy
Western philosophy is the philosophical thought and work of the Western or Occidental world, as distinct from Eastern or Oriental philosophies and the varieties of indigenous philosophies....

, in which the dominant view of time is a linear progression. During the Shang, fate
Destiny
Destiny or fate refers to a predetermined course of events. It may be conceived as a predetermined future, whether in general or of an individual...

 could be manipulated by great deities, commonly translated as Gods. Ancestor worship was present and universally recognized. There was also human and animal sacrifice.

When the Shang were overthrown by the Zhou
Zhou Dynasty
The Zhou Dynasty was a Chinese dynasty that followed the Shang Dynasty and preceded the Qin Dynasty. Although the Zhou Dynasty lasted longer than any other dynasty in Chinese history, the actual political and military control of China by the Ji family lasted only until 771 BC, a period known as...

, a new political, religious and philosophical concept was introduced called the "Mandate of Heaven
Mandate of Heaven
The Mandate of Heaven is a traditional Chinese philosophical concept concerning the legitimacy of rulers. It is similar to the European concept of the divine right of kings, in that both sought to legitimaze rule from divine approval; however, unlike the divine right of kings, the Mandate of...

". This mandate was said to be taken when rulers became unworthy of their position and provided a shrewd justification for Zhou rule. During this period, archaeological evidence points to an increase in literacy and a partial shift away from the faith placed in Shangdi
Shangdi
Shangdi , also known as Di in Oracle Bone Inscription and Thirteen Classics, refers to the supreme god or a divine power regarded as the spiritual ultimate by the Chinese people from the Shang Dynasty. He controlled victory in battle, harvest, the fate of the kingdom, and the weather...

 (the Supreme Being in traditional Chinese religion), with ancestor worship becoming commonplace and a more worldly orientation coming to the fore.

Hundred Schools of Thought



In around 500 BCE, after the Zhou state weakened and China moved in to the Spring and Autumn Period, the classic period of Chinese philosophy began (it is an interesting fact that this date nearly coincides with the emergence of the first Greek philosophers). This is known as the Hundred Schools of Thought
Hundred Schools of Thought
The Hundred Schools of Thought were philosophers and schools that flourished from 770 to 221 BC during the Spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period , an era of great cultural and intellectual expansion in China...

 (諸子百家; zhūzǐ bǎijiā; "various scholars , hundred schools"). This period is considered the golden age of Chinese philosophy. Of the many schools founded at this time and during the subsequent Warring States Period
Warring States Period
The Warring States Period , also known as the Era of Warring States, or the Warring Kingdoms period, covers the Iron Age period from about 475 BC to the reunification of China under the Qin Dynasty in 221 BC...

, the four most influential ones were Confucianism
Confucianism
Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius . Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han...

, Daoism
Taoism
Taoism refers to a philosophical or religious tradition in which the basic concept is to establish harmony with the Tao , which is the mechanism of everything that exists...

 (often spelled "Taoism"), Mohism
Mohism
Mohism or Moism was a Chinese philosophy developed by the followers of Mozi , 470 BC–c.391 BC...

 and Legalism.

Confucianism




Confucianism is a philosophical school developed from the teachings of the sage collected in the Analects of Confucius
Analects of Confucius
The Analects, or Lunyu , also known as the Analects of Confucius, are considered a record of the words and acts of the central Chinese thinker and philosopher Confucius and his disciples, as well as the discussions they held....

. It is a system of moral
Morality
Morality is the differentiation among intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good and bad . A moral code is a system of morality and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code...

, social
Social philosophy
Social philosophy is the philosophical study of questions about social behavior . Social philosophy addresses a wide range of subjects, from individual meanings to legitimacy of laws, from the social contract to criteria for revolution, from the functions of everyday actions to the effects of...

, political
Politics
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...

, and religious
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 thought that has had tremendous influence on Chinese history, thought, and culture down to the 21st century. Some Westerners have considered it to have been the "state religion
State religion
A state religion is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state...

" of imperial China. Its influence also spread to Korea and Japan.

The major Confucian concepts include rén (humanity or humaneness), zhèngmíng (rectification of names; e.g. a ruler who rules unjustly is no longer a ruler and may be dethroned), zhōng (loyalty), xiào (filial piety
Filial piety
In Confucian ideals, filial piety is one of the virtues to be held above all else: a respect for the parents and ancestors. The Confucian classic Xiao Jing or Classic of Xiào, thought to be written around 470 BCE, has historically been the authoritative source on the Confucian tenet of xiào /...

), and (ritual). Confucius taught both positive and negative versions of the Golden Rule
Ethic of reciprocity
The Golden Rule or ethic of reciprocity is a maxim, ethical code, or moralitythat essentially states either of the following:* : One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself....

. The concepts Yin and Yang
Yin and yang
In Asian philosophy, the concept of yin yang , which is often referred to in the West as "yin and yang", is used to describe how polar opposites or seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other in turn. Opposites thus only...

 represent two opposing forces that are permanently in conflict with each other, leading to perpetual contradiction and change. The Confucian idea of "Rid of the two ends, take the middle" is a Chinese equivalent of Hegel's idea of "thesis, antithesis, and synthesis", which is a way of reconciling opposites, arriving at some middle ground combining the best of both.

Taoism



Taoism (Daoism) is a philosophy and later also developed into a religion based on the texts the Tao Te Ching
Tao Te Ching
The Tao Te Ching, Dao De Jing, or Daodejing , also simply referred to as the Laozi, whose authorship has been attributed to Laozi, is a Chinese classic text...

(Dào Dé Jīng; ascribed to Laozi
Laozi
Laozi was a mystic philosopher of ancient China, best known as the author of the Tao Te Ching . His association with the Tao Te Ching has led him to be traditionally considered the founder of Taoism...

) and the Zhuangzi
Zhuangzi
Zhuangzi was an influential Chinese philosopher who lived around the 4th century BCE during the Warring States Period, a period corresponding to the philosophical summit of Chinese thought — the Hundred Schools of Thought, and is credited with writing—in part or in whole—a work known by his name,...

(partly ascribed to Zhuangzi
Zhuangzi
Zhuangzi was an influential Chinese philosopher who lived around the 4th century BCE during the Warring States Period, a period corresponding to the philosophical summit of Chinese thought — the Hundred Schools of Thought, and is credited with writing—in part or in whole—a work known by his name,...

). The character Tao
Tao
Dao or Tao is a Chinese word meaning 'way', 'path', 'route', or sometimes more loosely, 'doctrine' or 'principle'...

道 (Dao) literally means "path" or "way". However in Daoism it refers more often to a meta-physical term that describes a force that encompasses the entire universe but which cannot be described nor felt. All major Chinese philosophical schools have investigated the correct Way to go about a moral life, but in Taoism it takes on the most abstract meanings, leading this school to be named after it. It advocated nonaction (wu wei
Wu wei
Wu wei is an important concept of Taoism , that involves knowing when to act and when not to act. Another perspective to this is that "Wu Wei" means...

), the strength of softness, spontaneity, and relativism. Although it serves as a rival to Confucianism, a school of active morality, this rivalry is compromised and given perspective by the idiom "practise Confucianism on the outside, Taoism on the inside."
But its main motto is: "If one must rule, rule young"
Most of Taoism's focus is on what is perceived to be the undeniable fact that human attempts to make the world better actually make the world worse. Therefore it is better to strive for harmony, minimising potentially harmful interference with nature or in human affairs.

Legalism



Legalism is a pragmatic
Pragmatism
Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition centered on the linking of practice and theory. It describes a process where theory is extracted from practice, and applied back to practice to form what is called intelligent practice...

 political philosophy
Political philosophy
Political philosophy is the study of such topics as liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why they are needed, what, if anything, makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it...

 synthesized by Shang Yang
Shang Yang
Shang Yang was an important statesman of the State of Qin during the Warring States Period of Chinese history. Born Wei Yang in the State of Wei, with the support of Duke Xiao of Qin Yang enacted numerous reforms in Qin...

 and Han Fei
Han Fei
Han Fei was a Chinese philosopher who, along with Li Si, Gongsun Yang, Shen Dao and Shen Buhai, developed the doctrine of the School of Law or Legalism...

. With an essential principle like "when the epoch changed, the ways changed", it upholds the rule of law
Rule of law
The rule of law, sometimes called supremacy of law, is a legal maxim that says that governmental decisions should be made by applying known principles or laws with minimal discretion in their application...

 and is thus a theory of jurisprudence
Jurisprudence
Jurisprudence is the theory and philosophy of law. Scholars of jurisprudence, or legal theorists , hope to obtain a deeper understanding of the nature of law, of legal reasoning, legal systems and of legal institutions...

.

A ruler should govern his subjects by the following trinity:
  1. Fa (法 fa3): law or principle.
  2. Shu (術 shù): method, tactic, art, or statecraft.
  3. Shi (勢 shì): legitimacy, power, or charisma.


Legalism was the chosen philosophy of the Qin Dynasty
Qin Dynasty
The Qin Dynasty was the first imperial dynasty of China, lasting from 221 to 207 BC. The Qin state derived its name from its heartland of Qin, in modern-day Shaanxi. The strength of the Qin state was greatly increased by the legalist reforms of Shang Yang in the 4th century BC, during the Warring...

. It was blamed for creating a totalitarian society and thereby experienced decline. Its main motto is: "Set clear strict laws, or deliver harsh punishment". Both Shang Yang and Han Fei promoted the absolute adherence to the rule of law, regardless of the circumstances or the person. The ruler, alone, would possess the authority to dispense with rewards and punishments. Ministers were only to be rewarded if their words matched the results of their proposals, and punished if it did not; regardless if the results were worse or better than the claims. Legalism, in accordance with Han Fei's interpretation, could encouraged the state to be a militaristic
Militarism
Militarism is defined as: the belief or desire of a government or people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively to defend or promote national interests....

 autarky
Autarky
Autarky is the quality of being self-sufficient. Usually the term is applied to political states or their economic policies. Autarky exists whenever an entity can survive or continue its activities without external assistance. Autarky is not necessarily economic. For example, a military autarky...

. The philosophy was highly progressive, and extremely critical of the Confucian
Confucianism
Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius . Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han...

 and Mohist
Mohism
Mohism or Moism was a Chinese philosophy developed by the followers of Mozi , 470 BC–c.391 BC...

 schools. This would be used to justify Li Si
Li Si
Li Si was the influential Prime Minister of the feudal state and later of the dynasty of Qin, between 246 BC and 208 BC. A famous Legalist, he was also a notable calligrapher. Li Si served under two rulers: Qin Shi Huang, king of Qin and later First Emperor of China—and his son, Qin Er Shi...

's large scale persecution
Burning of books and burying of scholars
Burning of the books and burying of the scholars is a phrase that refers to a policy and a sequence of events in the Qin Dynasty of Ancient China, between the period of 213 and 206 BC. During these events, the Hundred Schools of Thought were pruned; legalism survived...

s of the other schools of thought during the Qin dynasty, and the invariable denunciation by Confucian scholars from the Han dynasty
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

 and onwards.

Naturalists



The School of Naturalists
School of Naturalists
The School of Naturalists or the School of Yin-yang was a Warring States era philosophy that synthesized the concepts of yin-yang and the Five Elements; Zou Yan is considered the founder of this school...

 or the School of Yin-yang (陰陽家/阴阳家; Yīnyángjiā; Yin-yang-chia; "School of Yin-Yang") was a Warring States era philosophy that synthesized the concepts of yin-yang and the Five Elements
Five elements (Chinese philosophy)
The Wu Xing, also known as the Five Phases, the Five Agents, the Five Movements, and the Five Steps/Stages, are chiefly an ancient mnemonic device, in many traditional Chinese fields....

; Zou Yan
Zou Yan
Zou Yan was the representative thinker of the Yin and Yang during the Hundred Schools of Thought era in Chinese philosophy. Zou Yan was a noted scholar of the Jixia Academy in the state of Qi...

 is considered the founder of this school. His theory attempted to explain the universe in terms of basic forces in nature: the complementary agents of yin (dark, cold, female, negative) and yang (light, hot, male, positive) and the Five Elements or Five Phases (water, fire, wood, metal, and earth). In its early days, this theory was most strongly associated with the states of Yan
Yan (state)
Yān was a state during the Western Zhou, Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods of Chinese history. Its capital was Ji...

 and Qi
Qi (state)
Qi was a powerful state during the Spring and Autumn Period and Period of the Warring States in ancient China. Its capital was Linzi, now part of the modern day city of Zibo in Shandong Province....

. In later periods, these epistemological theories came to hold significance in both philosophy and popular belief. This school was absorbed into Taoism's alchemic and magical dimensions as well as into the Chinese medical framework. The earliest surviving recordings of this are in the Ma Wang Dui
Mawangdui Silk Texts
The Mawangdui Silk Texts are texts of Chinese philosophical and medical works written on silk and found at Mawangdui in China in 1973. They include some of the earliest attested manuscripts of existing texts such as the I Ching, two copies of the Tao Te Ching, one similar copy of Strategies of the...

 texts and Huang Di Nei Jing.

Mohism



Mohism (Moism), founded by Mozi
Mozi
Mozi |Lat.]] as Micius, ca. 470 BC – ca. 391 BC), original name Mo Di , was a Chinese philosopher during the Hundred Schools of Thought period . Born in Tengzhou, Shandong Province, China, he founded the school of Mohism, and argued strongly against Confucianism and Daoism...

 (墨子), promotes universal love
Universal Love
Universal Love is the third album to be released by Philadelphia International Records houseband MFSB.Includes a cover of The Nite-Liters's 1971 single "K-Jee which was included in the 1977 movie and soundtrack Saturday Night Fever.-Track listing:...

 with the aim of mutual benefit. Everyone must love each other equally and impartially to avoid conflict and war. Mozi was strongly against Confucian ritual, instead emphasizing pragmatic
Pragmatism
Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition centered on the linking of practice and theory. It describes a process where theory is extracted from practice, and applied back to practice to form what is called intelligent practice...

 survival through farming, fortification
Fortification
Fortifications are military constructions and buildings designed for defence in warfare and military bases. Humans have constructed defensive works for many thousands of years, in a variety of increasingly complex designs...

, and statecraft
Public administration
Public Administration houses the implementation of government policy and an academic discipline that studies this implementation and that prepares civil servants for this work. As a "field of inquiry with a diverse scope" its "fundamental goal.....

. Tradition is inconsistent, and human beings need an extra-traditional guide to identify which traditions are acceptable. The moral guide must then promote and encourage social behaviors that maximize general benefit. As motivation for his theory, Mozi brought in the Will of Heaven, but rather than being religious his philosophy parallels utilitarianism
Utilitarianism
Utilitarianism is an ethical theory holding that the proper course of action is the one that maximizes the overall "happiness", by whatever means necessary. It is thus a form of consequentialism, meaning that the moral worth of an action is determined only by its resulting outcome, and that one can...

.

Logicians



The logicians (School of Names) were concerned with logic, paradoxes, names and actuality (similar to Confucian rectification of names). The logician Hui Shi
Hui Shi
Hui Shi , or Huizi , was a Chinese philosopher during the Warring States Period. He was a representative of the School of Names , and is famous for ten paradoxes about the relativity of time and space, for instance, "I set off for Yue today and came there yesterday."-Works mentioning Hui Shi:The...

 was a friendly rival to Zhuangzi
Zhuangzi
Zhuangzi was an influential Chinese philosopher who lived around the 4th century BCE during the Warring States Period, a period corresponding to the philosophical summit of Chinese thought — the Hundred Schools of Thought, and is credited with writing—in part or in whole—a work known by his name,...

, arguing against Taoism in a light-hearted and humorous manner. Another logician, Gongsun Long, told the famous When a White Horse is Not a Horse dialogue. This school did not thrive because the Chinese regarded sophistry and dialectic
Dialectic
Dialectic is a method of argument for resolving disagreement that has been central to Indic and European philosophy since antiquity. The word dialectic originated in Ancient Greece, and was made popular by Plato in the Socratic dialogues...

 as impractical.

Agriculturalists



Agriculturalism
Agriculturalism
Agriculturalism, also known as the School of Agrarianism, the School of Agronomists, the School of Tillers, and in Chinese as the Nongjia , was an early agrarian Chinese philosophy that advocated peasant utopian communalism and egalitarianism...

 was an early agrarian
Agrarianism
Agrarianism has two common meanings. The first meaning refers to a social philosophy or political philosophy which values rural society as superior to urban society, the independent farmer as superior to the paid worker, and sees farming as a way of life that can shape the ideal social values...

 social and political philosophy that advocated peasant utopian communalism
Communalism
Communalism is a term with three distinct meanings according to the Random House Unabridged Dictionary'.'These include "a theory of government or a system of government in which independent communes participate in a federation". "the principles and practice of communal ownership"...

 and egalitarianism
Egalitarianism
Egalitarianism is a trend of thought that favors equality of some sort among moral agents, whether persons or animals. Emphasis is placed upon the fact that equality contains the idea of equity of quality...

. The philosophy is founded on the notion that human society originates with the development of agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

, and societies are based upon "people's natural prospensity to farm."

The Agriculturalists believed that the ideal government, modeled after the semi-mythical governance of Shennong
Shennong
Shennong , which names mean "Divine Farmer", but also known as the Emperor of the Five Grains , was a legendary ruler of China and culture hero reputed to have lived some 5,000 years ago...

, is led by a benevolent king, one who works alongside the people in tilling the fields. The Agriculturalist king is not paid by the government through its treasuries; his livelihood is derived from the profits he earns working in the fields, not his leadership. Unlike the Confucians, the Agriculturalists did not believe in the division of labour
Division of labour
Division of labour is the specialisation of cooperative labour in specific, circumscribed tasks and likeroles. Historically an increasingly complex division of labour is closely associated with the growth of total output and trade, the rise of capitalism, and of the complexity of industrialisation...

, arguing instead that the economic policies of a country need to be based upon an egalitarian self sufficiency. The Agriculturalists supported the fixing of prices
Price fixing
Price fixing is an agreement between participants on the same side in a market to buy or sell a product, service, or commodity only at a fixed price, or maintain the market conditions such that the price is maintained at a given level by controlling supply and demand...

, in which all similar goods, regardless of differences in quality and demand, are set at exactly the same, unchanging price.

Qin and Han Dynasties


The short founder Qin Dynasty
Qin Dynasty
The Qin Dynasty was the first imperial dynasty of China, lasting from 221 to 207 BC. The Qin state derived its name from its heartland of Qin, in modern-day Shaanxi. The strength of the Qin state was greatly increased by the legalist reforms of Shang Yang in the 4th century BC, during the Warring...

, where Legalism was the official philosophy, quashed Mohist and Confucianist schools. Legalism remained influential until the emperors of the Han Dynasty
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

 adopted Daoism and later Confucianism as official doctrine. These latter two became the determining forces of Chinese thought until the introduction of Buddhism.

Confucianism was particularly strong during the Han Dynasty, whose greatest thinker was Dong Zhongshu
Dong Zhongshu
Dong Zhongshu was a Han Dynasty Chinese scholar. He is traditionally associated with the promotion of Confucianism as the official ideology of the Chinese imperial state.-History:...

, who integrated Confucianism with the thoughts of the Zhongshu School and the theory of the Five Elements. He also was a promoter of the New Text school, which considered Confucius as a divine figure and a spiritual ruler of China, who foresaw and started the evolution of the world towards the Universal Peace. In contrast, there was an Old Text school that advocated the use of Confucian works written in ancient language (from this comes the denomination Old Text) that were so much more reliable. In particular, they refuted the assumption of Confucius as a godlike figure and considered him as the greatest sage, but simply a human and mortal

Six Dynasties


The 3rd and 4th centuries saw the rise of the Xuanxue
Xuanxue
Xuanxue , Neo-Taoism, or Neo-Daoism is the focal school of thought in Chinese philosophy from the third to sixth century CE. Xuanxue philosophers combined elements of Confucianism and Taoism to reinterpret the Yijing, Daodejing, and Zhuangzi.The name compounds xuan 玄 "black, dark; mysterious,...

(mysterious learning), also called Neo-Taoism. The most important philosophers of this movement were Wang Bi
Wang Bi
Wang Bi , style name Fusi , was a Chinese neotaoist philosopher.-Biography:Wang Bi's most important works are commentaries on Laozi's Dao De Jing and the I Ching. The text of the Dao De Jing that appeared with his commentary was widely considered as the best copy of this work until the discovery of...

, Xiang Xiu
Xiang Xiu
Xiang Xiu is one of the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove.His most famous contribution is a commentary on the Zhuangzi, which was later used and amended by Guo Xiang. After his friend Xi Kang was killed by the ruling Jin dynasty, Xiang carefully interpreted his previous antagonistic words to the...

 and Guo Xiang
Guo Xiang
Guo Xiang , is credited with the first and most important revision of the text known as the Zhuangzi which, along with the Laozi, forms the textual and philosophical basis of the Taoist school of thought...

. The main question of this school was whether Being came before Not-Being (in Chinese, ming and wuming). A peculiar feature of these Taoist thinkers, like the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove
Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove
The Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove were a group of Chinese Taoist Qingtan scholars, writers, and musicians who came together in the 3rd century CE. Although the individual members all existed, their interconnection is not entirely certain...

, was the concept of feng liu (lit. wind and flow), a sort of romantic spirit which encouraged following the natural and instinctive impulse.

Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 arrived in China around the 1st century AD, but it was not until the Northern and Southern
Southern and Northern Dynasties
The Southern and Northern Dynasties was a period in the history of China that lasted from 420 to 589 AD. Though an age of civil war and political chaos, it was also a time of flourishing arts and culture, advancement in technology, and the spreading of Mahayana Buddhism and Daoism...

, Sui
Sui Dynasty
The Sui Dynasty was a powerful, but short-lived Imperial Chinese dynasty. Preceded by the Southern and Northern Dynasties, it ended nearly four centuries of division between rival regimes. It was followed by the Tang Dynasty....

 and Tang
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

 Dynasties that it gained considerable influence and acknowledgement. At the beginning, it was considered a sort of Taoist sect, and there was even a theory about Laozi
Laozi
Laozi was a mystic philosopher of ancient China, best known as the author of the Tao Te Ching . His association with the Tao Te Ching has led him to be traditionally considered the founder of Taoism...

, founder of Taoism, who went to India and taught his philosophy to Buddha
Buddha
In Buddhism, buddhahood is the state of perfect enlightenment attained by a buddha .In Buddhism, the term buddha usually refers to one who has become enlightened...

. Mahayana Buddhism was far more successful in China than its rival Hinayana
Hinayana
Hīnayāna is a Sanskrit and Pāli term literally meaning: the "Inferior Vehicle", "Deficient Vehicle", the "Abandoned Vehicle", or the "Defective Vehicle". The term appeared around the 1st or 2nd century....

, and both Indian schools and local Chinese sects arose from the 5th century. Two chiefly important monk philosophers were Sengzhao
Sengzhao
Sengzhao , from Jingzhao, was a Buddhist Chinese philosopher and the first disciple of Kumārajīva. He helped translate Indian treatises and also wrote his own. These form the only source of study for early Chinese Mādhyamika Buddhism...

 and Daosheng. But probably the most influential and original of these schools was the Chan sect, which had an even stronger impact in Japan as the Zen
Zen
Zen is a school of Mahāyāna Buddhism founded by the Buddhist monk Bodhidharma. The word Zen is from the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese word Chán , which in turn is derived from the Sanskrit word dhyāna, which can be approximately translated as "meditation" or "meditative state."Zen...

 sect.

In the mid-Tang Buddhism reached its peak, and reportedly there were 4,600 monasteries, 40,000 hermitages and 260,500 monks and nuns. The power of the Buddhist clergy was so great and the wealth of the monasteries so impressive, that it instigated criticism from Confucian scholars, who considered Buddhism as a foreign religion. In 845
845
Year 845 was a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar.- Europe :* March 28 – Paris is sacked by Viking raiders, probably under Ragnar Lodbrok, who collect a huge ransom in exchange for leaving.* The Vikings also sack Hamburg and Melun.* November 22 – Count of Vannes,...

 Emperor Wuzong
Emperor Wuzong of Tang
Emperor Wuzong of Tang , né Li Chan , later changed to Li Yan just before his death, was an emperor of the Tang Dynasty of China, reigning from 840 to 846. Emperor Wuzong is mainly known in modern times for the religious persecution that occurred during his reign...

 ordered the Great Anti-Buddhist Persecution
Great Anti-Buddhist Persecution
The Great Anti-Buddhist Persecution initiated by Tang Emperor Wuzong reached its height in the year 845 CE. Among its purposes were to appropriate war funds and to cleanse China of foreign influences. As such, the persecution was directed not only towards Buddhism but also towards other foreign...

, confiscating the riches and returning monks and nuns to lay life. From then on, Buddhism lost much of its influence.

Xuanxue



Xuanxue
Xuanxue
Xuanxue , Neo-Taoism, or Neo-Daoism is the focal school of thought in Chinese philosophy from the third to sixth century CE. Xuanxue philosophers combined elements of Confucianism and Taoism to reinterpret the Yijing, Daodejing, and Zhuangzi.The name compounds xuan 玄 "black, dark; mysterious,...

 was a philosophical school that combined elements of Confucianism
Confucianism
Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius . Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han...

 and Taoism
Taoism
Taoism refers to a philosophical or religious tradition in which the basic concept is to establish harmony with the Tao , which is the mechanism of everything that exists...

 to reinterpret the Yijing, Daodejing, and Zhuangzi
Zhuangzi (book)
The Taoist book Zhuangzi was named after its purported author Zhuangzi, the philosopher. Since 742 CE, when Emperor Xuanzong of Tang mandated honorific titles for Taoist texts, it has also been known as the Nánhuá Zhēnjīng , literally meaning "True Classic of Southern Florescence," alluding to...

.
The most important philosophers of this movement were Wang Bi
Wang Bi
Wang Bi , style name Fusi , was a Chinese neotaoist philosopher.-Biography:Wang Bi's most important works are commentaries on Laozi's Dao De Jing and the I Ching. The text of the Dao De Jing that appeared with his commentary was widely considered as the best copy of this work until the discovery of...

, Xiang Xiu
Xiang Xiu
Xiang Xiu is one of the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove.His most famous contribution is a commentary on the Zhuangzi, which was later used and amended by Guo Xiang. After his friend Xi Kang was killed by the ruling Jin dynasty, Xiang carefully interpreted his previous antagonistic words to the...

 and Guo Xiang
Guo Xiang
Guo Xiang , is credited with the first and most important revision of the text known as the Zhuangzi which, along with the Laozi, forms the textual and philosophical basis of the Taoist school of thought...

. The main question of this school was whether Being came before Not-Being (in Chinese, ming and wuming). A peculiar feature of these Taoist thinkers, like the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove
Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove
The Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove were a group of Chinese Taoist Qingtan scholars, writers, and musicians who came together in the 3rd century CE. Although the individual members all existed, their interconnection is not entirely certain...

, was the concept of feng liu (lit. wind and flow), a sort of romantic spirit which encouraged following the natural and instinctive impulse.

Zen




Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 is a religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

, a practical philosophy
Practical philosophy
The division of philosophy into a practical and a theoretical discipline has its origin in Aristotle's moral philosophy and natural philosophy categories. In Sweden and Finland courses in theoretical and practical philosophy are taught separately, and are separate degrees...

, and arguably a psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

, focusing on the teachings of Gautama Buddha
Gautama Buddha
Siddhārtha Gautama was a spiritual teacher from the Indian subcontinent, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. In most Buddhist traditions, he is regarded as the Supreme Buddha Siddhārtha Gautama (Sanskrit: सिद्धार्थ गौतम; Pali: Siddhattha Gotama) was a spiritual teacher from the Indian...

, who lived on the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

 most likely from the mid-6th to the early 5th century BCE. When used in a generic sense, a Buddha
Buddhahood
In Buddhism, buddhahood is the state of perfect enlightenment attained by a buddha .In Buddhism, the term buddha usually refers to one who has become enlightened...

 is generally considered to be someone who discovers the true nature of reality
Reality in Buddhism
Buddhism evolved a variety of doctrinal/philosophical traditions, each with its distinct ideas of reality. The following are still regularly studied in some branches of the Buddhist tradition: Theravada, Vaibhashika, Sautrantika, Jojitsu, Madhyamika, Yogacara, tiantai, Huayan...

.

Although Buddhism originated in India, it has had the most lasting impact on China. Since Chinese traditional thought focuses more on ethics rather than metaphysics
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

, it has developed several schools distinct from the originating Indian schools. The most prominent examples with philosophical merit are Sanlun
Sanlun
Mādhyamaka in East Asia refers to the Buddhist traditions in East Asia which represent the Indian Mādhyamaka system of thought. In Chinese Buddhism, these are often referred to as the Sānlùn school Mādhyamaka in East Asia refers to the Buddhist traditions in East Asia which represent the Indian...

, Tiantai
Tiantai
Tiantai is an important school of Buddhism in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. In Japan the school is known as Tendai, and in Korea it is known as Cheontae. Tiantai is also called the "Lotus School", due to its emphasis on the Lotus Sūtra as its doctrinal basis...

, Huayan, and Chán
Chan
-People:* Chan Marshall, American musician better known as Cat Power* Chan , Chinese surname; Mandarin transcription of the same name is Chen ** Agnes Chan , Hong Kong singer, also famous in Japan...

 (a.k.a. Zen). They investigate consciousness
Higher consciousness
Higher consciousness, also called super consciousness , objective consciousness , Buddhic consciousness , cosmic consciousness, God-consciousness and Christ consciousness , are expressions used in various spiritual traditions to denote the consciousness of a human being who has reached a...

, levels of truth, whether reality is ultimately empty, and how enlightenment is to be achieved. Buddhism has a spiritual aspect that compliments the action of Neo-Confucianism
Neo-Confucianism
Neo-Confucianism is an ethical and metaphysical Chinese philosophy influenced by Confucianism, that was primarily developed during the Song Dynasty and Ming Dynasty, but which can be traced back to Han Yu and Li Ao in the Tang Dynasty....

, with prominent Neo-Confucians advocating certain forms of meditation. the Buddha showed people what was right or wrong. the teaching still lives on today.

History


Neo-Confucianism
Neo-Confucianism
Neo-Confucianism is an ethical and metaphysical Chinese philosophy influenced by Confucianism, that was primarily developed during the Song Dynasty and Ming Dynasty, but which can be traced back to Han Yu and Li Ao in the Tang Dynasty....

 was a revived version of old Confucian principles that appeared around the Song Dynasty
Song Dynasty
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a...

, with Buddhist, Taoist, and Legalist
Legalism (Chinese philosophy)
In Chinese history, Legalism was one of the main philosophic currents during the Warring States Period, although the term itself was invented in the Han Dynasty and thus does not refer to an organized 'school' of thought....

 features. The first philosophers, such as Shao Yong
Shao Yong
Shao Yong , courtesy name Yaofu , named Shào Kāngjié after death, was a Song Dynasty Chinese philosopher, cosmologist, poet and historian who greatly influenced the development of Neo-Confucianism in China....

, Zhou Dunyi and Chang Zai, were cosmologists and worked on the Yi Jing
I Ching
The I Ching or "Yì Jīng" , also known as the Classic of Changes, Book of Changes and Zhouyi, is one of the oldest of the Chinese classic texts...

. The Cheng brothers, Cheng Yi
Cheng Yi (philosopher)
Cheng Yi , courtesy name Zhengshu , also known as Mr. Yichuan , was a Chinese philosopher born in Luoyang during the Song Dynasty. He worked with his older brother Cheng Hao . Like his brother, he was a student of Zhou Dunyi, a friend of Shao Yong, and a nephew of Zhang Zai...

 and Cheng Hao
Cheng Hao
Chéng Hào , styled Bochun , was a neo-Confucian philosopher from Luoyang, China. In his youth, he and his younger brother Cheng Yi were students of Zhou Dunyi, one of the architects of Neo-Confucian cosmology.-Life:...

, are considered the founders of the two main schools of thought of Neo-Confucianism: the School of Principle the first, the School of Mind the latter. The School of Principle gained supremacy during the Song Dynasty with the philosophical system elaborated by Zhu Xi
Zhu Xi
Zhū​ Xī​ or Chu Hsi was a Song Dynasty Confucian scholar who became the leading figure of the School of Principle and the most influential rationalist Neo-Confucian in China...

, which became mainstream and officially adopted by the government for the Imperial examinations under the Yuan Dynasty
Yuan Dynasty
The Yuan Dynasty , or Great Yuan Empire was a ruling dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, who ruled most of present-day China, all of modern Mongolia and its surrounding areas, lasting officially from 1271 to 1368. It is considered both as a division of the Mongol Empire and as an...

. The School of Mind was developed by Lu Jiuyuan
Lu Jiuyuan
thumb|200px|Lu JiuyuanLu Jiuyuan was a Chinese scholar and philosopher who founded the school of the universal mind, the second most influential Neo-Confucian school...

, Zhu Xi's main rival, but was soon forgotten. Only during the Ming Dynasty
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

 was the School of Mind revived by Wang Shouren, whose influence is equal to that of Zhu Xi. This school was particularly important in Japan.

During the Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

 many philosophers objected against Neo-Confucianism and there was a return to the Han Dynasty Confucianism, and also the reprise of the controversy between Old Text and New Text. In this period also started the penetration of Western culture, but most Chinese thought that the Westerners were maybe more advanced in technology and warfare, but that China had primacy in moral and intellectual fields.

Neo-Confucianism



Despite Confucianism losing popularity to Taoism and Buddhism, Neo-Confucianism
Neo-Confucianism
Neo-Confucianism is an ethical and metaphysical Chinese philosophy influenced by Confucianism, that was primarily developed during the Song Dynasty and Ming Dynasty, but which can be traced back to Han Yu and Li Ao in the Tang Dynasty....

 combined those ideas into a more metaphysical
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

 framework. Its concepts include li (principle, akin to Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

's forms
Theory of Forms
Plato's theory of Forms or theory of Ideas asserts that non-material abstract forms , and not the material world of change known to us through sensation, possess the highest and most fundamental kind of reality. When used in this sense, the word form is often capitalized...

), qi (vital or material force), taiji
Taiji
Taiji 太極 is a Chinese cosmological term for the "Supreme Ultimate" state of undifferentiated absolute and infinite potentiality, contrasted with the Wuji 無極 "Without Ultimate"...

(the Great Ultimate), and xin (mind).

Modern era



During the Industrial and Modern Ages, Chinese philosophy had also begun to integrate concepts of Western philosophy, as steps toward modernization. By the time of the Xinhai Revolution
Xinhai Revolution
The Xinhai Revolution or Hsinhai Revolution, also known as Revolution of 1911 or the Chinese Revolution, was a revolution that overthrew China's last imperial dynasty, the Qing , and established the Republic of China...

 in 1911, there were many calls, such as the May Fourth Movement
May Fourth Movement
The May Fourth Movement was an anti-imperialist, cultural, and political movement growing out of student demonstrations in Beijing on May 4, 1919, protesting the Chinese government's weak response to the Treaty of Versailles, especially the Shandong Problem...

, to completely abolish the old imperial institutions and practices of China. There have been attempts to incorporate democracy
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

, republicanism
Republicanism
Republicanism is the ideology of governing a nation as a republic, where the head of state is appointed by means other than heredity, often elections. The exact meaning of republicanism varies depending on the cultural and historical context...

, and industrialism into Chinese philosophy, notably by Sun Yat-Sen
Sun Yat-sen
Sun Yat-sen was a Chinese doctor, revolutionary and political leader. As the foremost pioneer of Nationalist China, Sun is frequently referred to as the "Father of the Nation" , a view agreed upon by both the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China...

 (Sūn yì xiān, in one Mandarin form of the name) at the beginning of the 20th century. Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

 (Máo zé dōng) added Marxism
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

, Stalinism
Stalinism
Stalinism refers to the ideology that Joseph Stalin conceived and implemented in the Soviet Union, and is generally considered a branch of Marxist–Leninist ideology but considered by some historians to be a significant deviation from this philosophy...

, and other communist
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 thought.

When the Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

 took over
Chinese Civil War
The Chinese Civil War was a civil war fought between the Kuomintang , the governing party of the Republic of China, and the Communist Party of China , for the control of China which eventually led to China's division into two Chinas, Republic of China and People's Republic of...

 power, previous schools of thought, excepting notably Legalism
Legalism (Chinese philosophy)
In Chinese history, Legalism was one of the main philosophic currents during the Warring States Period, although the term itself was invented in the Han Dynasty and thus does not refer to an organized 'school' of thought....

, were denounced as backward, and later even purged during the Cultural Revolution
Cultural Revolution
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, commonly known as the Cultural Revolution , was a socio-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976...

. Their influence on Chinese thought, however, remains. The current government of the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 is trying to encourage a form of market socialism.

Since the radical movement of the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese government has become much more tolerant with the practice of traditional beliefs. The 1978 Constitution of the People's Republic of China
1978 Constitution of the People's Republic of China
The 1978 Constitution of the People's Republic of China was promulgated in 1978. This was the PRC's 3rd constitution, and was adopted at the 1st Meeting of the 5th National People's Congress on March 5, 1978, two years after the downfall of the Gang of Four....

 guarantees "freedom of religion" with a number of restrictions. Spiritual and philosophical institutions have been allowed to be established or re-established, as long they are not perceived to be a threat to the power of the CPC
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

. (However, it should be noted that those organizations are heavily monitored by the state.) The influences of the past are still deeply ingrained in the Chinese culture. As in Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, philosophy in China has become a melting pot of ideas. It accepts new concepts, while attempting also to accord old beliefs their due.

New Confucianism



New Confucianism is an intellectual
Intellectual
An intellectual is a person who uses intelligence and critical or analytical reasoning in either a professional or a personal capacity.- Terminology and endeavours :"Intellectual" can denote four types of persons:...

 movement of Confucianism
Confucianism
Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius . Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han...

 that began in the early 20th century in Republican China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, and revived in post-Mao
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

 era contemporary China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

. It is deeply influenced by, but not identical with, the Neo-Confucianism
Neo-Confucianism
Neo-Confucianism is an ethical and metaphysical Chinese philosophy influenced by Confucianism, that was primarily developed during the Song Dynasty and Ming Dynasty, but which can be traced back to Han Yu and Li Ao in the Tang Dynasty....

 of the Song
Song Dynasty
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a...

 and Ming
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

 dynasties.

Tea and philosophy


Philosophy have been an influence in the development of the tea ceremony
Tea ceremony
A tea ceremony is a ritualised form of making tea. The term generally refers to either chayi Chinese tea ceremony, chado Japanese tea ceremony, tarye Korean tea ceremony. The Japanese tea ceremony is more well known, and was influenced by the Chinese tea ceremony during ancient and medieval times....

. The elements of the Chinese tea ceremony include the harmony of nature and self cultivation, and enjoying tea in a formal or informal setting. When tea is more than a drink and the tea ceremony is understood and practiced to foster harmony in humanity, promote harmony with nature, discipline the mind, quiet the heart, and attain the purity of enlightenment, the art of tea becomes teaism.

Great philosophical figures


  • Confucius
    Confucius
    Confucius , literally "Master Kong", was a Chinese thinker and social philosopher of the Spring and Autumn Period....

    , seen as the Great Master but sometimes ridiculed by Taoists.
    • Mencius
      Mencius
      Mencius was a Chinese philosopher who was arguably the most famous Confucian after Confucius himself.-Life:Mencius, also known by his birth name Meng Ke or Ko, was born in the State of Zou, now forming the territory of the county-level city of Zoucheng , Shandong province, only thirty kilometres ...

      , Confucius' follower having idealist inspiration
    • Xun Zi
      Xun Zi
      Xun Zi was a Chinese Confucian philosopher who lived during the Warring States Period and contributed to one of the Hundred Schools of Thought. Xun Zi believed man's inborn tendencies need to be curbed through education and ritual, counter to Mencius's view that man is innately good...

      , another Confucius' follower, closer to realism, teacher of Han Fei and Li Si
    • Zhu Xi
      Zhu Xi
      Zhū​ Xī​ or Chu Hsi was a Song Dynasty Confucian scholar who became the leading figure of the School of Principle and the most influential rationalist Neo-Confucian in China...

      , founder of Neo-Confucianism
      Neo-Confucianism
      Neo-Confucianism is an ethical and metaphysical Chinese philosophy influenced by Confucianism, that was primarily developed during the Song Dynasty and Ming Dynasty, but which can be traced back to Han Yu and Li Ao in the Tang Dynasty....

    • Wang Yangming
      Wang Yangming
      Wang Yangming was a Ming Chinese idealist Neo-Confucian philosopher, official, educationist, calligraphist and general. After Zhu Xi, he is commonly regarded as the most important Neo-Confucian thinker, with interpretations of Confucianism that denied the rationalist dualism of the orthodox...

      , most influential proponent of xinxue or "state of mind."
  • Lao Zi, the chief of Taoist school.
    • Zhuangzi
      Zhuangzi
      Zhuangzi was an influential Chinese philosopher who lived around the 4th century BCE during the Warring States Period, a period corresponding to the philosophical summit of Chinese thought — the Hundred Schools of Thought, and is credited with writing—in part or in whole—a work known by his name,...

      , said to be the author of the Zhuangzi.
    • Liezi
      Lie Yukou
      Lie Yukou is considered the author of the Daoist book Liezi, which uses his honorific name Liezi . The second Chinese character in Yukou is written kou 寇 "bandit; enemy"; the first is written yu 圄 "imprison", yu 禦 "resist; ward off", or occasionally yu 御 "drive ; ride ; control" Lie Yukou is...

      , said to be the author of the Liezi
      Liezi
      The Liezi is a Daoist text attributed to Lie Yukou, a circa 5th century BCE Hundred Schools of Thought philosopher, but Chinese and Western scholars believe it was compiled around the 4th century CE.-Textual history:...

      .
  • Mozi
    Mozi
    Mozi |Lat.]] as Micius, ca. 470 BC – ca. 391 BC), original name Mo Di , was a Chinese philosopher during the Hundred Schools of Thought period . Born in Tengzhou, Shandong Province, China, he founded the school of Mohism, and argued strongly against Confucianism and Daoism...

    , the founder of Mohist school.
  • Shang Yang
    Shang Yang
    Shang Yang was an important statesman of the State of Qin during the Warring States Period of Chinese history. Born Wei Yang in the State of Wei, with the support of Duke Xiao of Qin Yang enacted numerous reforms in Qin...

    , Legalist founder and pivotal Qin reformer
  • Han Fei
    Han Fei
    Han Fei was a Chinese philosopher who, along with Li Si, Gongsun Yang, Shen Dao and Shen Buhai, developed the doctrine of the School of Law or Legalism...

    , one of the most notable theoreticians of Legalism
  • Li Si
    Li Si
    Li Si was the influential Prime Minister of the feudal state and later of the dynasty of Qin, between 246 BC and 208 BC. A famous Legalist, he was also a notable calligrapher. Li Si served under two rulers: Qin Shi Huang, king of Qin and later First Emperor of China—and his son, Qin Er Shi...

    , major proponent and practitioner of Legalism
  • Huineng
    Huineng
    Dajian Huineng was a Chinese Chán monastic who is one of the most important figures in the entire tradition, according to standard Zen hagiographies...

    , The 6th buddhist patriarch of the Chan (Zen) School in China, he established the concept of "no mind".

Concepts within Chinese philosophy



Although the individual philosophical schools differ considerably, they nevertheless share a common vocabulary and set of concerns.

Among the terms commonly found in Chinese philosophy are:
  • Dao
    DAO
    DAO may refer to:* D-amino acid oxidase, a peroxisomal enzyme.* Data access object, a design pattern used in object-oriented software engineering* De-asphalted oil, a crude oil refinery process stream...

     (the Way, or one's doctrine)
  • De
    De (Chinese)
    De is a key concept in Chinese philosophy, usually translated "inherent character; inner power; integrity" in Taoism, "moral character; virtue; morality" in Confucianism and other contexts, and "quality; virtue" or "merit; virtuous deeds" in Chinese Buddhism.-The word:Chinese de 德 is an ancient...

     (virtue, power)
  • Li
    Li (Confucian)
    Li is a classical Chinese word which finds its most extensive use in Confucian and post-Confucian Chinese philosophy. Li encompasses not a definitive object but rather a somewhat abstract idea; as such, it is translated in a number of different ways...

     (principle)
  • Qi
    Qi
    In traditional Chinese culture, qì is an active principle forming part of any living thing. Qi is frequently translated as life energy, lifeforce, or energy flow. Qi is the central underlying principle in traditional Chinese medicine and martial arts...

     (vital energy or material force)
  • The Taiji
    Taiji
    Taiji 太極 is a Chinese cosmological term for the "Supreme Ultimate" state of undifferentiated absolute and infinite potentiality, contrasted with the Wuji 無極 "Without Ultimate"...

    (Great Heavenly Axis) forms a unity of the two complimentary polarities, Yin and Yang
    Yin and yang
    In Asian philosophy, the concept of yin yang , which is often referred to in the West as "yin and yang", is used to describe how polar opposites or seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other in turn. Opposites thus only...

    . The word Yin originally referred to a hillside facing away from the sun. Philosophically, it stands the dark, passive, feminine principle; whereas Yang (the hillside facing the sun) stands for the bright, active, masculine principle. Yin and Yang are not antagonistic, they alternate in inverse proportion to one another—like the rise and fall of a wave
    Wave
    In physics, a wave is a disturbance that travels through space and time, accompanied by the transfer of energy.Waves travel and the wave motion transfers energy from one point to another, often with no permanent displacement of the particles of the medium—that is, with little or no associated mass...

    .


Among the commonalities of Chinese philosophies are:
  • The tendency not to view man as separate from nature.
  • Questions about the nature and existence of a monotheistic deity
    Chinese terms for God
    Chinese terms for God, especially a "Supreme God", have produced many variations for the title. The oldest records of the term Westerners translate as "God", "Most High God", "Greatest Lord" appear to exist in the earliest documents of Chinese literature as Shangdi...

    , which have profoundly influenced Western philosophy, have not been important in Chinese philosophies or a source of great conflict in Chinese traditional religion.
  • The belief that the purpose of philosophy is primarily to serve as an ethical and practical guide.
  • The political focus: most scholars of the Hundred Schools
    Hundred Schools of Thought
    The Hundred Schools of Thought were philosophers and schools that flourished from 770 to 221 BC during the Spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period , an era of great cultural and intellectual expansion in China...

     were trying to convince the ruler to behave in the way they defended.

See also

  • Chinese classic texts
    Chinese classic texts
    Chinese classic texts, or Chinese canonical texts, today often refer to the pre-Qin Chinese texts, especially the Neo-Confucian titles of Four Books and Five Classics , a selection of short books and chapters from the voluminous collection called the Thirteen Classics. All of these pre-Qin texts...

  • Chinese history

Chinese philosophers
  • Confucianism
    Confucianism
    Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius . Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han...

  • Culture of China
    Culture of China
    Chinese culture is one of the world's oldest and most complex. The area in which the culture is dominant covers a large geographical region in eastern Asia with customs and traditions varying greatly between towns, cities and provinces...

  • Eastern philosophy
    Eastern philosophy
    Eastern philosophy includes the various philosophies of Asia, including Chinese philosophy, Iranian philosophy, Japanese philosophy, Indian philosophy and Korean philosophy...

  • Five Elements
    Five elements (Chinese philosophy)
    The Wu Xing, also known as the Five Phases, the Five Agents, the Five Movements, and the Five Steps/Stages, are chiefly an ancient mnemonic device, in many traditional Chinese fields....

  • Hun and po
    Hun and po
    Hun and po are types of souls in Chinese philosophy and religion. Within this ancient soul dualism tradition, every living human has both a hun spiritual, ethereal, and yang soul that leaves the body after death and a po corporeal, substantive, and yin soul that remains with the corpse...

  • List of Chinese philosophers
  • Taoism
    Taoism
    Taoism refers to a philosophical or religious tradition in which the basic concept is to establish harmony with the Tao , which is the mechanism of everything that exists...

  • Thirteen Classics
    Thirteen Classics
    The Thirteen Classics is a term for the group of thirteen classics of Confucian tradition that became the basis for the Imperial Examinations during the Song Dynasty and have shaped much of East Asian culture and thought....


  • Further reading

    • A History of Chinese Philosophy (Princeton Paperbacks), Feng Youlan
      Feng Youlan
      Feng Youlan or Fung Yu-Lan was a Chinese philosopher who was important for reintroducing the study of Chinese philosophy.-Early life, education, & career:...

      , tr. Derk Bodde
      Derk Bodde
      Derk Bodde was a prominent 20th century American Sinologist and historian of China. He authored pioneering work in the history of the Chinese legal system....

      , 1983.
    • Disputers of the Tao; Philosophical Argument in Ancient China, A. C. Graham, 1989.
    • Three Ways of Thought in Ancient China, Arthur Waley
      Arthur Waley
      Arthur David Waley CH, CBE was an English orientalist and sinologist.-Life:Waley was born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, as Arthur David Schloss, son of the economist David Frederick Schloss...

      , 1983.
    • Chinese Thought, from Confucius to Mao Zedong, Herrlee Glessner Creel, 1971.
    • The Importance of Living, Lin Yutang
      Lin Yutang
      Lin Yutang was a Chinese writer and inventor. His informal but polished style in both Chinese and English made him one of the most influential writers of his generation, and his compilations and translations of classic Chinese texts into English were bestsellers in the West.-Youth:Lin was born in...

      , 1996.
    • Encyclopedia of Chinese Philosophy, Antonio S. Cua
      Antonio Cua
      Antonio S. Cua was an eminent scholar in Chinese philosophy and comparative philosophy who was professor emeritus of philosophy at The Catholic University of America. Cua was primarily interested in Western moral philosophy, moral psychology and Chinese ethics, in particular Confucian ethics...

       (Editor), Routledge, 2003.
    • Fung Yu-lan, A Short History of Chinese Philosophy (Macmillan, 1948).
    • Introduction to Chinese Philosophy, Karyn Lai, Cambridge University Press
      Cambridge University Press
      Cambridge University Press is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge. Granted letters patent by Henry VIII in 1534, it is the world's oldest publishing house, and the second largest university press in the world...

      , 2008.
    • Introduction to Classical Chinese Philosophy, Bryan W. Van Norden (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2011).

    External links