Tag Archives: philosophy

Zhong Yong (Doctrine of the Mean) (Zhōngyōng 中庸)

Nirmal DASS One of Confucianism’s sacred texts, the Zhong Yong serves as a guide to achieving ­harmony—personal, social, and political—through a mind and self in a state of perfect equilibrium. Translated as The Doctrine of the Mean, it embodies many … Continue reading

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Confucianism–Revival (Rúxué fùxīng 儒学复兴)

Daniel A. BELL Historical illustration of a school boy worshiping Confucius. Today’s Chinese students often seek inspiration and guidance from the past, both for engaging in everyday ethics and for thinking about political reform. In this revival of Chinese culture … Continue reading

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Four Books and Five Classics of Confucianism (Sìshū Wŭjīng 四书五经)

James D. SELLMANN The Song dynasty scholar Zhu Xi streamlined Confucian education by compiling the Four Books: Mencius, Analects, Great Learning, and Centrality and Commonality. These texts influenced Chinese culture more than any other classics during the last six centuries … Continue reading

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Confucian Ethics (Rújiā dàodé 儒家道德)

James D. SELLMANN A drawing of Confucius from a seventeenth-century book. The original caption read: “Confucius, The celebrated Chinese philosopher.” From Su shu; The morals of Confucius, a Chinese philosopher. London: Printed for Randal Taylor, 1691. BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND … Continue reading

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I Ching (Classic of Changes) (Yìjīng 易经)

Richard John LYNN Diagrams from the I-Ching, (the Book of Changes). On the left is a Luo Shu diagram, on the right is a He Thu diagram. They represented a simple magic square and a cruciform array of the numbers … Continue reading

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Hundred Schools of Thought (Bǎijiā Zhēngmíng 百家争鸣)

James D. SELLMANN Han Fei, famous scholar and the founder of the Legalist School of philosophy. During the Warring States period (475–221 BCE) many diverse philosophical systems thrived in China; the expression a hundred schools of thought is used to … Continue reading

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Daoism—Philosophy (Dàojiào zhéxué 道教哲学)

James D. SELLMANN The ancient Chinese philosophy known as Daoism is a complex cultural phenomena. Inspired by ancient shamanic breathing practices, Daoism is a philosophy that focuses on self-cultivation and finding value and purpose in this life. It developed into … Continue reading

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The Way (Dào 道)

James SELLMAN The yin–yang and bagua symbols, both significant to the philosophy of Daoism. Dao denotes a road, path, or way. Every ancient Chinese thinker interpreted the concept of dao to suite his philosophical system. For the Confucians, dao refers … Continue reading

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Five Elements, The (Wǔxíng 五行)

Stephen L. FIELD The symbols for the five sacred Daoist mountains in China represent the five elements: water, fire, earth, wood, and metal, which correlate to the four cardinal directions (and center) of the square. Northern Peak is associated with … Continue reading

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Analects (Lúnyǔ 论语)

James D. SELLMANN The Analects, containing the sayings of the philosopher Confucius and his followers, is one of the most influential texts in Chinese philosophy. Until 1905 mastery of the Analects was required for the imperial civil service examination. The … Continue reading

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