Glossary of 04Chinese philosophies
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- What ancient philosophy influenced Chinese social roles, government and education for 2000 years?
- How stable was society and life during the late Zhou Dynasty?
- It was a time of warring states and conflict.
- What is a dynasty?
- A powerful ruling family in ancient China. The Emperor of China was a hereditary position. When the Emperor died, his son would become Emperor.
- What was the Mandate of Heaven??
- It justified the emperor's power. As long as an emperor was kind and just, the people must obey because he is the son of heaven. But the people are the Ear of Heaven and they have a duty to overthrow an unjust emperor (right to rebel) and install a new emperor or new dynastic family.
- What was Confucius like?
- He came from a poor noble family in the Zhou Dynasty. He sought positions with many feudal lords and government leaders, but never succeeded. It was in his small private school of pupils that he succeeded.
- What was Confucius' main goal?
- An orderly, peaceful, harmonious society.
- What did people need in order to have peace and tranquility?
- They needed a code of proper conduct to keep social harmony.
- Did traditional Chinese believe all people are created equal?
- No. They believed that in every relationship there is a superior and an inferior. The inferior must kowtow to the superior.
- What were the five key relationships that Confucius believed brought order to society?
- Ruler and Subject, Parent and Child,Husband and Wife, Elder Brother and Younger Brother,and Friends. In each case, the second one is the inferior and must obey the first/ superior.
- How were women in traditional China viewed?
- Confucius believed they were difficult to deal with. Most traditional Chinese believed that women were the property of their fathers until their (arranged) marriage and then they were their husband's property.
- What is the Confucian idea of "Filial Piety"?
- Respect, devotion, loyalty to family. Obedience toward one's parents was expected in live, and one had to honor them with rituals when they became "ancestors"
- Confucius' writings were collected by his disciples after his death. What were they called?
- The Analects.
- Who is the founder of Daoism?
- What book is supposed to be the collected sayings of Laozi?
- The Dao De Jing (the Way and its Virtue).
- What dynasty did the philosophy of Daoism (Taoism) arise?
- The Zhou Dynasty (same as Confucius)
- What was the goal of Daoism?
- A peaceful society.
- How did one achieve peace in Daoism?
- By following the flow of and contemplating Nature.
- What is the name for the force that flows through everything in nature into man and out again?
- Why is it hard to describe the Dao?
- Because it is intuitive and felt, not seen.
- What Chinese fields of study were advances made in due to Daoists?
- Natural Sciences - botany, zoology, earth sciences,chemistry, etc. Also math and astronomy.
- What were the first Daoist scholars interested in discovering?
- The elixir of eternal life, and how to turn lead into gold (alchemy).
- What did Daoism say about rulers that disagrees with Confucian ideas about rulers?
- Daoism said the government that governs least (fewest laws/rules) is best. Government is not natural and there should be as little as possible. Confucius believed a ruler should set a GOOD example and then be obeyed.
- Which philosophy was made part of the government bureaucracy during the Han Empire?
- The ideas of Confucianism. In fact, to get a government job, Chinese used the first civil service exams, based on ancient teachings and the ideas of Confucius.
- What do Confucianism and Daoism have in common?
- They both are philosophies. They both believe man is basically good. They both try to achieve peace and harmony.
- During the Qin dynasty, what very harsh philosophy developed?
- What did Legalists believe about man's nature?
- Man is by nature evil and must be kept in check by harsh punishments.
- What were the only activities Emperor Shihuangdi permitted in the Qin dynasty?
- Agriculture (peasant farmers) and war (soldiers).
- How did the Qin Emperor show his contempt for old teachings?
- He burned all books on the ancient teachings, Confucian writings, and Daoist writings that he could.
- Which of the three Chinese philosophies is also considered a religion because it talks of ghosts, spirits, magic and gods?
- Daoism. (also spelled Taoism)
- Why did China develop such a different world view than the rest of the world.
- It was isolated geographically. Western and Southwestern China were cut off by mountains, the Gobi Desert and Great Wall cut off the north, the Pacific Ocean was a barrier until modern history, etc. So the Chinese felt they were unique and developed differently.
- What do the Chinese call their country? (i.e., what is the translation of Zhongghuo or Chung kuo?)
- Middle Kingdom (the most civilized and most central kingdom - to the outside were only barbarians in their view).
- Why was traditional China uninterested in much trading with the outside world?
- They had many inventions long before the West (gunpowder, silk, coal, paper, etc.) and felt they had all that they needed. This, plus geographic isolation, reinforced their sense of specialness.
- Why did China fall behind the West?
- It's sense of ethnocentrism and cultural superiority. The Confucian tendence to NEVER question authority nor change. The West modernized steadily while China stayed the same and unaware they were about to be conquered.
- Although the Qin (Chin) dynasty was a short one, it accomplished many things to Western historians. Name two.
- (1) It extended China's borders/ empire to include most of eastern China.
(2) It built/ completed the Great Wall of China to keep out Mongol barbarian attackers.
(3) The English name "China" comes from the word Qin (Chin) referring to this dynasty.
(4) Government power became very centralized. A tradition of strict laws was established (legalism).
- What was the Daoist symbol of duality in nature?
- Yin yang. Yin is female, Yang is male. Yin is dark, Yang is light. Yin is valley, Yang is mountain. etc.
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