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Where did Confucianism dominate the philosophy of education?
China Korea Japan
How do Daoists and Confucians differ from one another?
Daoists emphasized nature and its laws. Confucians found the secret of life in persons and their better relationships. Daoists sought the harmony of individuals with the Dao. Confucius desired harmony between the cosmos order and the social order.
Kung fu-tzu (5 facts)
(Great Master K’ung or Confucius – Latin version of his Chinese name) 551-479 BCE was born in the middle of the sixth century BCE at a time China was a group of small kingdoms, in the small feudal state of Lu (south of present-day Beijing). It was a time of political chaos. This period of time is called the Warring States period. - his family was of aristocratic origin but poor - at 50 years old, he was appointed to a high office in the state of Lu but his policies were not adopted. He resigned. - at 55, he began a thirteen-year period of wandering from state to state, teaching a program of political and social reform. Confucius * did not question tradition. Confucianism is based on the ancient Chinese beliefs in the Lord on High, the Mandate of Heaven, ancestor worship, spirits, and the efficacy of rituals. * However, he emphasized the cultivation of moral virtues * believed that political involvement can transform the present world * challenged the corrupt and autocratic leaders of his time. People would be honest if their rulers were not so covetous. * argued for the selection of rulers by merit, not birth * wanted to make education available to all men, not just the elite - At age 67 he returned to Lu and spent the rest of his life teaching.
(Lun Yu). They are the reputed sayings and conversations of Confucius. They were compiled after his death. They constitute the best source of information on Confucius.
The Great Learning
(Da Xue). The book deals with the education of gentlemen in general. In classical Chinese education, this was the first text studied by schoolboys.
The Five Classics
probably preceded Confucius (8th c. BCE). Confucius presented himself as a transmitter of ancient wisdom. - the Five Classics contained this wisdom. These are books of divination with numerology and ethical insight. They explain the traditional, respectful behavioral rules (“li”). They also contain lyrics that express a poetic vision of the good life.
The Book of Mencius
(third century BCE). It is a collection of the sayings of one of Confucius’s principal disciples. It systematized the teachings of Confucius.
Five Basic Relationships
- parent and child - husband and wife - elder and younger brother - friend and friend - ruler and subject
What is the Way of Dao for Confucians?
humans make the Dao great, not the Dao. In other words, if there is a “way” for things to go, an underlying harmony, it will be because humans manifest it in their commitment to virtue. For philosophical Daoists, the way to virtue is to let the Dao happen. For Confucians, the way to the Dao is to seek virtue actively.
(aristocrat, sage, ideal person, gentleman)
(jen = humaneness)
reciprocity (analogous to karma)
propriety, good form, the right thing to do at the right time
xiao or hsiao
filial piety
the rectification of names
Master Meng (4 beliefs)
(known as Mencius in the West – ca. 371-289 BCE) * humans are by nature good. There are times when good feelings are not prompted by desire for reward. This natural goodness must be cultivated. * like Confucius, he emphasized obligations to, and love of, family members * rulers are obligated to help provide the material means for life to all citizens. They should adhere to a land distribution system to insure fair distribution. * citizens have the right to revolt against a ruler who fails to live up to his obligations
Temples of culture
(called wen miao or “temples of culture”) dedicated to Confucius were built (one in each prefecture of China). These temples included images of Confucius and worship there included sacrifices to Confucius. Tablets to distinguished scholars were also placed in these temples.
Confucian scholars and their role during the Han dynasty
most of the Confucian scholars belonged to a new kind of landowning gentry. They had largely replaced the old aristocracy. As government officials, they oversaw the educational network; they also performed rituals in the court and on the local level. The Hans had built “halls of light” (also called “calendar houses”) throughout China for the worship of ancestors and all the major deities.
Confucianism in Korea
Under the Yi dynasty (end of the fourteenth century-1900s CE) Mahayana Buddhism’s dominance gradually lessened. The Yi dynasty was thoroughly Confucian in court politics and elite culture. In the nineteenth century, the government tried to limit the economic power of monastic estates. Even today Confucian influence is felt in South Korea (in political behavior, legal practice, ancestral veneration, and village schools).
Confucianism in Japan
In the seventh century CE, Confucianism’s influence began to be felt. In the seventeenth century the Tokugawa rulers saw to a more thorough Confucianization of society. It can be argued that Japanese companies are operated on the model of the Confucian family.
Confucianism in China (3 recent events and dates)
*1905 the Ch’ing rulers abolished the civil service exam in favor of a Western system of education *1949 the communist government outlawed sacrifices to Confucius *1980 Confucius has been rehabilitated
Why was Confucianism rehabilitated in 1980?
Authorities came to believe that the revivalism of Confucianism might help to counteract the rising tide of individualistic consumerism and distrust of those in authority, especially among the youth.

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