Sunday, February 24, 2019
Philosophy and Empire in Ancient China
The late chow chow period of, alike known as the Age of a one hundred Schools of purview, was a turbulent era in Chinese story. Although these schools all contended against from each one other, they had the same basic goal. To unify China. The three most influential schools of feeling that existed were Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism. Although ultimately it was legalist principles and methods that ended the Period of the struggle soils, through the eyes of the Confucian thinkers, Qin Shihuandis legalist policies may feel been a harsh and overtly utilitarian counseling of unifying China.Confucianism is a school of thought that developed from one realitys indispensableness for a to a greater extent moral way of ruling. Kong Qiu, as he was named in the first place history posthumously named him Kong Fuzi which was later Latinized into Confucius, was born into an aristocratic but destitute family . His experience with rituals of his native state of Lu in Northwestern China, light-emitting diode him to embark upon a 14 year period of wandering with his students . Confucius traveled to various small motor inns attempted to convince their leaders to adopt his philosophies of animateness and govern organise forcet. He hoped his ideas would return China to a state of harmony and arbiter .Confucius later returned to his home and remained teaching, believing himself a failure, until his finish in 479. In actuality he was faraway from a failure. His ideas spread throughout the kingdom and vie a profound role in shaping Chinese civilization. We essential remember that the School of a Hundred thoughts took place during the Period of the Warring states. This was a cut officularly turbulent period of history where philosophers were trying to come up up with anything they could to bring peace and confident rule to China. Many thinkers, much(prenominal) as Confucius, looked to the past to provide examples of for improvement.The past, especially th e Zhou dynasty, was largely mythicized and seed to be a Golden age of harmony and prosperity . Confucius believed the Sage kings had it basically right. A ruler should be like a father realize to his great deal and lead by example, non by fear. Confucius also move upon other age-old Chinese virtues such as filial theology or xiao, a moral hu mankindity or ren, and ritual politeness or li. Confucian thought emphasizes the principle that humans be broadly speaking moral creatures and argon by fact, obliged to comport themselves humanely and with integrity. eyepatch Confucianism preached preached a doctrine of benevolent reform based on the virtues of the past, Legalism to the contrary emphasized a strict utilitarian regime. Leaders in legalist thought, complete that with the extreme disorder of their present day, new and drastic measures were necessary. For a governing body body to succeed, it would depend on a effective system of rewards and punishments. To condition hi s power, the ruler had to keep his officials in line with strict rules and regulations and his population teachable with predictably en squeeze laws.Shang Yang, Han Feizi gathered that the base of a states strength was its fortify forces and its agriculture. They then tried to dissuade people from being merchants, scholars, philosophers, or artists because these c beers did not advance the interests of the state . Legalists imposed a strict regime with intelligibly and strictly defined laws and expectations. Failure to comply even to the most miserable of laws resulted in severe punishment. Legalist thought was that this fear of their leaders would inspire contour with the laws that govern the state as a whole.Although the harsh ideals of the legalist school of thought may sport later been smoothed out by adopting sure Confucian ideas, they originated as vastly different systems. We can see the legalist polices that Sima Quian record in his expansive history of China as they were enforced by Qin Shihuandi. Confucians such as Mencius would have likely dis defyd with this style of rule. There are many discrepancies we can see when comparing Sima Quians writings and the Analects enter by students of Confucius. Qin Shihuangdi had a tower built on Mount Langya with iron out inscriptions for his people to live by.One inscription reads Great are the Emperors achievements, men attend diligently to basic tasks, farming is encouraged, secondary pursuits discouraged. It is made terminate that the great emperor indirect requests to suppress his peoples desires to pursue anything but basic tasks that officiate the greater good. This would sound preposterous for a Confucian thinker. How can the people build a bust society if they are dissuaded from education? They may be forced to build walls or fight wars for the Emperor. Confucians did not believe in governing with decrees and regulating with punishments .They believed that the people will evade their fo rced reach and will have no sense of shame . They believed the better way to govern would be to lead by virtue and example. Whereas Qin Shihuangdi may promote a crooked aristocrat to oversee the building of walls, a Confucian would promote an upright citizen who was knowledgeable and educated. While the crooked man may punish insubordination with violence to scare others into working, the straight man would preside over them with dignity, and his people will be reverent if he is filial and loving.His subordinates would want to work for a man who believes in them and they would encourage each to work harder through their respect for one another. As for sageness and humanity, how withstand i asseverate them? But to learn it insatiably and instruct others indefatigably-that much may be said of me, that is all, meekly stated master Confucius. Humility also must have had a different meaning for Qin Shihuangdi as he was quoted in his sagacity, benevolence and justice to have said I hu mbly propose that all records but those of Qin be burned.If anyone who is not a court scholar dares to keep the ancient songs, historical records or writings or writings of the hundred schools, these should be confiscated and burned Those who in conversation dare to quote the old songs and records, should be publicly executed, those who use old precedents to fight back the new order should have their families wiped out. This is a stark contrast to the Confucian beliefs that were composed of many older ideals. Confucians studied ancient texts such as the Book of Documents, and the Book of Songs. The ideals they upheld emphasized the importance of education which came in part from these ancient texts.How was a man to educate himself and raise his family out of scantiness without an education. As Confucius says If he learns, he will not be drab , or ignorant of the rituals that make a virtuousin shi. In a legalist China, where no evil or impropriety is allowed and where kinsman care for each other , people who were often held to the principle of collective responsibility. All family members were expected to observe others closely, predict any illegal activity and deal it. Even if it was against their own family or community members.If there were such people who knew of such cases but failed to report them, they should be punished in the same way. This also is a far cry from the benevolent practice of xiao. In fact, it is fundamentally opposite of the spiffing teachings of Confucius. Whereas legalist theory believes that children who rebel against their wrongdoing parents will grow to be substantial citizens, Master You states that those who are not apt to defy their superiors, but are apt to stir up a rebellion just now do not exist. Although this is only a theory, I would say that it should hold more water than Qin Shihuangdis.If the state practices filial piety and brotherly obedience being the grow of humanity and the government conducts itself with a virtue likened to the North Star one could shot that it would be a fairly pleasant society to live in. withal inscribed upon Qin Shihuangdis stele was the phrase, The super C people know peace and have laid aside weapons and armor kinsmen care for each other, there are no robbers and thieves men delight in his rule. A Confucian skill believe this to be quite an exaggeration for to them there were no common people. Only people who should be treated how you yourself would like to be treated.In a society of people who are more encouraged to work on their own knowledge, and attainment of skilled judgement there would be less(prenominal) of a need for strict rules and guidelines as the people should conduct themselves gibe to the virtues and morals they have attained through education. The utilitarian procedures of legalism were largely trustworthy for the general lack of education among the common people of China. As a opinionated Confucian scholar under the reign of Qin Shih uangdi, I would be one of the people getting together to slander the laws and practices set in place by my legalist ruler.While might be able to agree that a legalist doctrine was responsible for building a unified state with a large-scale political organization that established a customs duty of centralized imperial rule, i could speculate that China may have been a very different place had more Confucian value been implemented. As evidenced by the rule of Shang Yang, legalist politics were successful simply through the fear they instilled in the common people. While road work and agriculture was flourishing throughout the dynasty, so was unrest.Shang Yang was quickly executed upon the death of his patron, his body mutilated and his family annihilated. In the case of Qin Shihaungdi, there were many who welcomed the stableness his reign brought, yet still many outspoken scholars, philosophers and others who criticized his regime. As the first Emperor didnt want his people to be c onfused with the old teachings of scholars, he demanded that the books be burned and had hundreds of scholars executed. We may never know what China would be like had more of the Confucian teachings survived but i believe that their history might be a little bit less bloody.