Confucianism, Legalism and Daoism

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Agenda
Bell Assignment
Ch. 4 Section 4 Notes
How would Confucius, Laozi, or
Hanfeizi react?
Write a dialogue between a Confucian,
Daoist, and Legalist
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What philosophy, teaching, or belief do you
follow each day? Why?
Ex. My philosophy each day is to teach to the
best of my ability and respect all students.
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After the Zhou dynasty overthrew the Shang
dynasty under the Mandate of Heaven, China
developed a feudal system.
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Feudalism - System of government in which local
lords governed their own land but owed military
service and other forms of support to their ruler
Feudalism, which was believed to promote
loyalty to the king, caused more tension and
fighting between powerful lords, who sought
to increase their power and land.
The fighting created lots of chaos and
confusion in China.
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The chaos and confusion produced
philosophers who wanted to bring peace and
stability to China.
Confucius
Han Feizi
Lao Tzu – “The Old Master”
Ch. 4 Section 4
World History
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A philosophy is a system of thinking that deals
with worldly goals, rather than spiritual goals.
There are three major philosophies that were
founded in China that many people apply to
their everyday life today.
They are:
Confucianism, Legalism, and Daoism.
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Confucianism was founded by Confucius
(Master Kong Fuzi)
Confucian ideas teach that social order can be
achieved in the following ways:
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Correct behavior
Accepting ones duties and responsibilities
Accepting ones place in society
Providing good government
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Confucianism stresses that accepting ones
place in society means that you must always
respect your superior:
Wife to husband
Father to son
Brother to brother
Ruler to subject
Friend to friend (treat each other equally)
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Confucianism also stresses the importance of good
government to keep society in order.
According to Confucian ideas, good government was
established by rulers who set good examples for their
subjects to follow.
Rulers should also be fair and just.
In addition, Confucianism stresses that education is
key to having good ruler. Education allows rulers to
make competent decisions.
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It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This
is how the whole scheme of things works. All
good things are difficult to achieve; and bad
things are very easy to get.
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Behave in such a way that your father and
mother have no worry about you, except
concerning your health.
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Legalism was founded by Hanfeizi.
According to Hanfeizi, human greed was the root of all
evil and the cause of all problems in society.
Therefore, governments should impose strict laws and
harsh punishments to deter people from committing
crimes.
However, anyone doing the right thing should be
rewarded.
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It is dangerous for a ruler to trust others. He
who trusts others can be manipulated by
others.
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When it comes to people who are close to him,
he enjoys them, but is sure to hold them
responsible for what they say, and prevent
them from expressing unasked for opinions.
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Daoism was founded by Laozi.
According to Laozi, to achieve social order
meant that humans must reject all conflict and
strife and live in harmony with nature.
In addition, government is believed to be
unnatural. Therefore, Daoists believe that the
government that governs the least is the best.
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He who knows that enough is enough will
always have enough.
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Violence, even well intentioned, always
rebounds upon oneself.
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If you were a ruler, which philosophy would
you use to improve the welfare of your
citizens? Why?
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A student knows that they are failing a class.
Students from each of these doctrines know
they will be in trouble when their parents find
out. How do they handle this situation?
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A student really likes a new student in school,
but all the other students are making fun of the
new student's clothes. How should the first
student act?

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