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Mohism Prof. WEN Haiming Associate Professor, School of Philosophy Renmin University of China Ph.D. University of Hawaii 2014-6-4 Prof. Haiming Wen, School.

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Presentation on theme: "Mohism Prof. WEN Haiming Associate Professor, School of Philosophy Renmin University of China Ph.D. University of Hawaii 2014-6-4 Prof. Haiming Wen, School."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Mohism Prof. WEN Haiming Associate Professor, School of Philosophy Renmin University of China Ph.D. University of Hawaii Prof. Haiming Wen, School of Philosophy, Renmin University of China 1

3 Social Background of the Mohist School Founded by Mozi ( B.C?) Preached the ethics of knights-errant Supported the hsieh, knights errant recruited from lower classes Criticized traditional institutions and their rationalizers (i.e Confucius)

4 Mozis Criticism of Confucianism Four reasons why Mozi believed Confucianism to be wrong: 1. Confucianism doesnt believe in existence of God 2. Insist on elaborate funerals and practice of mourning the death of a parent for three years, thereby wasting wealthy and energy of youth 3. Lay stress on the practice of music, leading to an identical result 4. Believe in a predetermined fate, causing people to be lazy and to resign themselves to their fate

5 All-Embracing Love Agrees with Confucian ideas of ren and yi (human heartedness and righteousness) To Mohists, these symbolize all-embracing love enjoy equally and suffer equally Everyone should love everyone else without discrimination The human-hearted man whose task it is to procure benefits for the world and eliminate its calamities, must establish all-embracing love as the standard of action both for himself and for all others in the world.

6 The Will of God and Existence of Spirits In order to have people practice the principle of all- embracing love, Mozi introduces religious/political sanctions. -The Will of Heaven, Proof of the Existence of Spirits God exists, loves mankind, and His Will is that all men should love one another, constantly supervises activities of men -punishes with calamity and rewards with good fortune

7 Seeming Inconsistencies Inconsistent for Mohists to have believed in existence of spirits, but at the same time be opposed to elaborate rituals and making sacrifices to spirits Mozis proof of the existence of spirits is done in order to introduce religious sanctions for doctrine of all embracing love In his Economy of expenditure section, Mozi shares his belief that funeral and sacrificial services were also useful

8 Origin of the State Political sactions also needed to induce all-embracing love According to the Mozi, authority of the ruler comes from the will of the people and the Will of God People must accept absolute authority because they have no alternative World would be in disorder if every person had his own standard, therefore they must follow the person selected as ruler State must be totalitarian and the authority of ruler absolute

9 The Later Mohists Mohists were philosophers of common sense Mohist Canons -in order to have knowledge, the knowing must be confronted with an object of knowledge Knowledge can be classified into 3 types -derived through personal experience of the knower -transmitted by authority -knowledge by inference Point of view of various objects of knowledge-knowledge of names, that of actualities, that of correspondence, that of action

10 Discussions on Dialectic Serves to make distinction between right and wrong, discriminate between order and disorder… Methods of imitation and methods of extension -imitation- sets forth a cause, deductive reasoning -extension- taking and giving according to classes, inductive reasoning cause defined as that with which something becomes

11 Clarification of All-embracing Love Maintain Mozis utilitarianistic philosophy All human activities aim at obtaining benefit and avoiding harm Good = beneficial -righteousness, loyalty, filial piety

12 Prof. Haiming Wen, School of Philosophy, Renmin University of China


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