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Asian Philosophy AP CHAPTER 17. The Development of Confucianism During the Warring States Period (722-221): China experienced a collapse of social and.

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Presentation on theme: "Asian Philosophy AP CHAPTER 17. The Development of Confucianism During the Warring States Period (722-221): China experienced a collapse of social and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Asian Philosophy AP CHAPTER 17

2 The Development of Confucianism During the Warring States Period ( ): China experienced a collapse of social and political order that led to chaos. The ensuing chaos needed a solution. Many solutions were proposed. The solutions can be put into three general positions.

3 The Development of Confucianism The Daoists response was to advocate a return to a simpler life. Civilization is the problem. We need a return to nature. The Pessimist response was that there was no hope. We need to withdraw from the world. Each person needs to attempt to try to save themselves. The Activist were convinced that order could be restored. They disagreed about how to do it.

4 The Three Activist Schools The Confucian School The Mohist School The Legalist School

5 MOZI ( BCE) Disagreed with the Confucian Tradition Mohists argued that the problem rested in the Confucian emphasis on Virtue. The solution is to adopt utilitarianism and universal equality.

6 Han Fei ( BCE) Disagreed with the Confucian Tradition. Legalists argued that the Confucian emphasis on Virtue would lead to a weak society. The solution was strict laws and harsh punishments.

7 Post-Confucius Contributors to Confucianism Yan Hui ( BCE) Zengzi ( BCE) Mengzi ( BCE) Xunzi ( BCE) Dong Zhongshu ( BC)

8 Mengzi Defends Confucian moral humanism. His attempt to block Mohist utilitarianism and harsh legalist principles failed. He argued that peace and harmony are brought about through moral cultivation. His moral pacifism was not successful.

9 Mengzi Ren is basic. Li is required for the development of Ren. Xiao is required for moral cultivation. Yi is the aspect of original Confucian philosophy that undergoes change. Yi is important because of the distinction between goodness and rightness.

10 The Distinction between Goodness and Rightness Ren refers to the goodness that is basic to human nature. Yi refers to the rightness of human actions. The distinction is made because everyone has ren, but not all people act rightly. If everyone has ren, why is there evil in the world? The answer: because of a failure of Yi.

11 The Coordination of Ren and Yi in Mengzi If Ren is fully developed, then Yi will follow. If all actions are in accord with Yi, Ren will be developed.

12 Gaozi vs. Mengzi on Human Nature Gaozi: Human nature is neither Good nor Evil inherently. Analogy 1: Human nature is like a tree, human goodness like a bowl made from the tree. Mengzi: In making a bowl from a tree we have to kill the tree and cut it into pieces. Analogy 2: Just as water can flow either to the east or to the west without making any distinction between them, so human nature can turn to either good or evil, without making any distinction between them, so, human nature can turn to either good or evil. Mengzi: Water flows indifferently east and west, but it does not flow indifferently north and south. Water only flows down. Human goodness, thus is like water in this way – it is disposed to goodness.

13 Mengzi Against Context-Dependency about Human Nature Context-Dependency about Human Nature: In some people human nature is bad, but in others it is good. Argument For: Under the rule of a virtuous king, people loved what was good, but under the rule of a cruel king, without virtue, people loved what was cruel and not good. Argument Against: Under a good ruler, people love the good, because the natural goodness of human nature is protected. Under a bad ruler, however, the people become bad, because the ruler destroys the goodness in everyone. Universalism about Human Nature: human nature is universal, not shifting from person to person.

14 Arguments for the Goodness of Human Beings Argument 1: 1.The sage, according to everyone, is good by nature. 2.All persons have the same human nature. 3.Therefore, all persons are good by nature. Critical Questions: Does the fact that everyone thinks a sage is good by nature make it true? What supports the view that all persons have the same human nature? Does it follow from the fact that everyone has a good nature, that everyone is always good?

15 Arguments for the Goodness of Human Beings Compassion is the beginning of ren. Shamefulness is the root of yi. Respect is the beginning of li. Knowledge of right and wrong is the root of zhi Every person draws his or her ideas about the rightness and wrongness of actions from reflections in his or her own heart-mind. 2.So, these ideas are innate ideas of right and wrong, and must be found in every person.

16 Sources of Evil Mengzi on Evil – First, evil is due to external circumstances. Second, evil is due to the abandonment of self: people abandon their innate goodness. Third, evil is due to a failure to nourish the feelings and the senses. Evil can exist because although one has good intentions, one is incapable of doing the right things because of a lack of knowledge with which to make the correct decision.

17 Mengzi’s Vision People should live virtuously, according to ren, yi, and li because living virtuously develops one’s humanity, leading to harmonious social relationships and an orderly society. To regulate one’s actions by ren, yi, and li is to live according to the innate goodness that is basic to human nature. To practice Confucianism is to practice the way of fulfilling human nature.

18 Consequences of Mengzi’s Theory of Human Nature Human Nature is essentially Good. It is given by Heaven. Heaven is inherently good, for it is the very source of goodness. Heaven is the ultimate judge and sanction of human action and goodness. Learning is a process of self-cultivation that preserves and extends one’s inherent good nature and serves Heaven. Self-cultivation is the path to developing the heart-mind, it is the path to becoming a sage.

19 Xunzi ( BCE) Provided the groundwork for Dong Zhongshu’s synthesis that persuaded Emperor Wu to adopt Confucianism as the official Chinese ideology. He was well received. And his views on Confucius were opposed to those of Mengzi

20 Xunzi Human Nature is Bad. Heaven is not spiritual. There is no personal relationship between Heaven and people. Nature is constant and indifferent to human desires and wishes. Nature and Morality operate independently of one another. Nature cannot guarantee human goodness.

21 Xunzi Humans lack the beginnings of the four virtues. They inherently possess vice and self-interestedness. People are born selfish, with desires, some of which are ordinarily unsatisfied. When desires are unsatisfied, people strive for their satisfaction. When many people are striving, chaos is brought about through mutually incompatible desires and self-interest. Humans are not essentially bad, they are bad only if their desire goes unchecked.

22 Sources of Goodness for Xunzi Education. Participation in social institutions and culture. Desire to live better and use one’s intelligence. Applying ones intelligence to desire to create social order. Cooperation with others.

23 How Does Social Organization Come About? Xunzi’s Answer: Through rules of conduct. Through laws and punishment for misconduct. Through human intelligence applied to the task of making social distinctions. The social distinctions involve relationships, such as the roles of being a teacher, a mother, a citizen. These roles have certain duties assigned to them. The social distinctions regulate society.

24 Xunzi’s Difference from Mengzi and Confucius Confucius: Ren is primary. Goodness of heart. Mengzi: Yi is primary. Rightness of action. Xunzi: Li is primary. Propriety of conduct. But Xunzi and Mengzi strengthened Confucian philosophy.

25 Dong Zhongshu ( BCE) Believed that Confucianism was broad enough to meet all the demands of society and government. That it was a complete philosophy of life and society using self- cultivation and moral development

26 Dong Zhongshu’s Synthesis Confucianism can be seen to harmonize both Heaven and Nature. Confucianism can explain how imperial politics are grounded in the workings of the cosmos itself. There is a primary emphasis on education. An emperor’s duty is to ensure the education of the people. Human nature is neither innately good nor innately evil. Humans have selfish feelings as well as non-selfish feelings. Through education human goodness is cultivated. Through laws evil desires are controlled.

27 Dong’s Advice to Emperor Wu A real ruler sincerely listens to heaven and follows its decree. A real ruler educates the people to complete their nature and he upholds the law to maintain the social order and control of desires.


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