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Chinese Philosophy

Origin of Chinese Philosophy

Confucianism has a long history of Chinese Philosophy till China today.

Confucianism in China today

During the Spring and Autumn (BCE 770-476) and Warring States (BCE 475-221) period which is the earliest time Chinese philosophy can be traced back to, Chinese society at that time went through a remarkably liberal period of cultural and intellectual openness. "Hundred Schools of Thought" (all philosophers hundred schools) was flourishing and famous Chinese philosophers were emerging.

According to Chinese history, it was during this period that Taoism, Confucianism, Mohism and Legalism (School of law), the four main schools of Chinese philosophy thoughts emerged. They exerted a profound influence on Chinese culture and China philosophy system that would reach far into the future.

Chinese philosopher Confucius & Chinese Philosophy Confucianism

Strutures of Confucius in China can be found in lots of places.

Strutures of Confucius in China

Confucius (551 - 479 B.C.) is a great thinker, educator and ancient Chinese philosopher in the period of Spring and Autumn and Warring States and the founder of the Confucian School. The main literature representative of his thoughts is the Analects. The basic Chinese philosophy thoughts of Confucius can be embodied in the following six aspects:

1. Humanity --the core of the political thoughts of Confucius.

It's a basic Chinese philosophy that put forward the ways of how to conduct oneself and deal with relationship between people. Confucius regarded "humanity" as the highest principle, standard and mode of conducting oneself, the object of which is to optimize human relationships in China philosophy.

2. Rite--an interaction relationship with "humanity" of Chinese philosophy.

3. Neutrality--it means mediocrity and requires people to follow" the doctrine of mediocrity".

Whatever happens, people should "take hold of their two extremes, determine the Mean, and employ it in his government of the people" This is a through way of Confucianism and also then social Chinese philosophy.

4. Virtue--it mainly refers to "humanitarian rule" and "virtuous governing" in the strategies of managing state affairs and criticizes that "tyranny is fiercer than a tiger" in Chinese philosophy. This is the “kingly way" of Confucius and Confucianism.

5. Education--Chinese philosopher Confucius put forward the educational thoughts of establishing private institution, educating without discrimination and teaching students in accordance of their aptitude.

6. Cultivation--Confucius as a Chinese philosopher contended that people should strengthen the cultivation of individual mind, "self-command", and "the cultivation of one's morality" to enhance the consciousness of implementing humanity and virtue, and cultivate and perfect the ideal interpersonal relationship.

Famous Works of Chinese philosopher Confucius

According to tradition, the Chinese philosophy teachings of Confucius are based on nine major texts:

Five Classics (Wujing)

Book of Songs (Shijing)

Book of History (Shujing)

Book of Rites (Lijing)

Book of Changes (Yijing)

Spring and Autumn Annals (Chunjiu)

Four Books (Sishu)

Analects (Lunyu)

Great Learning (Daxue)

Doctrine of the Mean (Zhongyong)

Book of Mencius (Mengzi)


Confucian ideas of Chinese philosopher involved social order, harmony and a good government. Five relationships were included in China philosophy Confucianism. They are:

1. Ruler and subject

2. Father and son

3. Husband and wife

4. Older and younger brothers

5. Friends

Confucianism of Chinese philosophy also includes filial piety, which is when children pay respect to their elders, parents, and ancestors. A bureaucracy, which is a trained civil service, was his idea of a government. To be in the government, you had to have a good education.

Chinese Philosopher Confucius' Social Philosophy

Confucius' social philosophy as part of Chinese philosophy largely revolves around the concept of ren, “compassion” or “loving others.” Cultivating or practicing such concern for others involved deprecating oneself.

This means being sure to avoid artful speech or an ingratiating manner that would create a false impression and lead to self-aggrandizement in Chinese philosophy. Those who have cultivated ren are, on the contrary, “simple in manner and slow of speech.”

For Chinese philosopher Confucius, such concern for others is demonstrated through the practice of forms of the Golden Rule: “What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others;” “Since you yourself desire standing then help others achieve it, since you yourself desire success then help others attain it.”
Learning self-restraint involves studying and mastering li, the ritual forms and rules of propriety through which one expresses respect for superiors and enacts his role in society in such a Chinese philosophy way that he himself is worthy of respect and admiration.

A concern for propriety in China philosophy should inform everything that one says and does: "Look at nothing in defiance of ritual, listen to nothing in defiance of ritual, speak of nothing in defiance or ritual, never stir hand or foot in defiance of ritual."

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