Easter Civ. 304
March 4, 2009
Chinese philosophies and ways of thinking have constantly been reinventing themselves. A new dynasty meant a new leader, which meant a new position taken on philosophy. As the Chinese empires expanded to include more regions and people, their philosophies and beliefs began to shape and transform from what they once were. In the early Shang dynasty, for instance, philosophic thought had little impact. The main focus of faith was deity based. Followers worshiped their ancestors and made ritual sacrifices to appease their deity, which was known as Shang Di. Then, when the Zhou dynasty, 1122-256 BCE, conquered the Shang dynasty, the idea of the “Mandate of Heaven” was introduced, which was, more or less, a way to attract just rulers and remove repressive ones. It was said a just ruler would be rewarded by all the riches of heaven, and an unjust ruler would only wreak havoc unto his empire. It is at this point when the prevalence of Chinese philosophy really emerges, as the Zhou dynasty began to weaken and China moved into the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States. It is during this time that the “100 Schools of Thought” were born. China was ready for a way of thinking that was less governmental and more spiritual and although the governmental aspect did not retreat altogether, very influential and free thinking philosophies were born. Buddhism and Legalism are two philosophies that, although are now relics of the past due to progression, were at one point greatly followed and respected ways of living. But, of the numerous schools of thought China has produced, Confucianism and Daoism are the two that have had the greatest impact on Chinese Culture in positive and progressive way, ultimately creating a more unified and well-built Chinese empire.
It would be wise to reflect on Confucius, otherwise known as Kongfuzi, apart from Confucianism, the ethical doctrine. Confucius lived...