A Comparison of Chinese Philosophies - White Plains Public ...

A Comparison of Chinese Philosophies - White Plains Public ...

A Comparison of Chinese Philosophies In this lesson, students will be able to identify characteristics of Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism. Students will be able to identify and/or define the following Chinese philosophies:

Confucianism Daoism Legalism E. Napp Throughout Chinese history, there have been many great philosophers.

E. Napp Confucianism Confucius, an important philosopher living during the Zhou dynasty, sought a way to establish peace and harmony. He believed that a harmonious society

depended on Five Relationships. In four of Confucius Five Relationships, an inferior had to obey a superior person. E. Napp The proper functioning of society depended on these Five Relationships according to

Confucius. E. Napp Laozi Laozi, another Chinese philosopher living during the Zhou dynasty, disagreed with Confucius.

He believed that people needed to live close to nature and follow natural ways or the Dao. His philosophy is called Daoism. E. Napp A Daoist understands that a bird is not

a fish. A bird does not try to live in water. E. Napp The Yin-Yang is a popular Daoist or Taoist symbol. E. Napp

Legalism Legalism was another Chinese philosophy. Unlike Confucianism and Daoism, Legalists believed that people were inherently selfish. Due to their selfishness, wrongdoers had

to be punished harshly to prevent future transgressions. E. Napp During the Qin dynasty, Legalism was the official philosophy of China. E. Napp

While all three philosophies greatly influenced China, Confucianism became the official philosophy of dynastic China. E. Napp It is important to remember that during the

Han dynasty, a scholar had to pass a test on Chinese history and Confucianism to work in the government. E. Napp In Confucianism, a son must obey his father.

E. Napp In Daoism, people are encouraged to live naturally. E. Napp Questions for Reflection:

List the Five Relationships of Confucianism and explain the proper functioning of each relationship. Why do Daoists look to nature for understanding? Why do Legalists believe that harsh punishments are necessary?

Which philosophy had the greatest impact on Chinese history? Why? E. Napp

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