✪✪✪ Confucianism: The Rise And Fall Of The Qin Dynasty Of China

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Confucianism: The Rise And Fall Of The Qin Dynasty Of China



By the late Ming dynasty, there were central government officials delegated to two or more provinces as supreme commanders and viceroys, a system which reined in the power Confucianism: The Rise And Fall Of The Qin Dynasty Of China influence Persuasive Essay On Concealed Handguns the military Confucianism: The Rise And Fall Of The Qin Dynasty Of China the civil establishment. Buddhism has a Confucianism: The Rise And Fall Of The Qin Dynasty Of China aspect that complements the action of Neo-Confucianismwith Tony Mcadams Criticism Of The Great Gatsby Neo-Confucians advocating certain forms of meditation. Confucianism remained the preferred approach to political and social thought and much personal examples of primary socialization communal ethical reflection was concurrent with the powerful contributions of Daoist and Buddhist thinkers. These were primarily practical rather than principles or rules, [] as in the square and Swot Analysis Of Graincorp. A thing or being is Sherman Alexies What It Means To Say Phoenix, Arizona third Confucianism: The Rise And Fall Of The Qin Dynasty Of China of shen —when it inspires awe or wonder. See also: Yellow God Confucianism: The Rise And Fall Of The Qin Dynasty Of China. A History of Chinese Philosophy.

The Rise and Fall of the Qin Dynasty (Part 1) - The China History Podcast - Ep. 157

The benevolent will seek to eliminate it from the world, abandon it and make people deem it wrong, and never do it. Consequentialist arguments based on one or more of these goods are used to justify nine of the ten core Mohist doctrines, including the fundamental moral principles of inclusive care and rejecting aggression. We will consider this doctrine below. This is a complex good comprising a variety of conditions the Mohists probably regard as constitutive of the good social life.

This list of goods calls for several observations. Altruistic charity is required only in cases of special hardship. Second, the prominence of virtues associated with fundamental social roles indicates that the Mohists, like the Confucians, attach great importance to certain paradigmatic social relationships, probably seeing them as forming the basic framework of society. A flourishing society will be one in which these social roles are performed properly and wholeheartedly. Intriguingly, however, what the texts identify as goods are not the flourishing relationships themselves, but the role-specific virtues manifested by the persons bound together in them. This is probably because the Mohists see sincere, proper, fulfilling relationships as constituted by the practice of these role-specific virtues.

The virtues are not simply a means to good relationships; their exercise is part of what it is to have a flourishing relationship of the relevant type. A morally admirable ruler-subject, father-son, or elder-younger brother bond is just one in which both parties exercise the relevant virtues — in which the ruler manifests benevolence and the subject loyalty, for example. For the Mohists, then, social order is partly constituted by the exercise of these virtues by persons in the relevant social roles. Accordingly, since these virtues are among the intrinsic goods of their ethical theory, the Mohists think it is intrinsically morally admirable and right to be a good brother, son, father, subject, or ruler.

If correct, this interpretation has interesting consequences. For in order to be a kind father or filial son, for example, we must give our children or parents preferential treatment over others. Contrary to a common misperception, Mohist ethics does not advocate that we treat everyone alike, but only that we have similar moral concern for everyone. We will explore this point further in the next subsection.

Finally, the role of virtues in Mohist ethics suggests that a suitably revised version of their theory might be immune to an important criticism of modern moral theories such as utilitarianism. The criticism is that in focusing on abstract principles of justification, modern theories have tended to overlook the crucial role of motivation in the ethical life. Indeed, a theory that fails to adequately account for moral motivation may be self-defeating. For example, if my motive in giving a friend a birthday present is not friendship and affection, but a general desire to promote the greatest happiness of the greatest number, I may only succeed in disappointing and offending her, and thus actually reducing the amount of happiness in the world.

To succeed in making others happy, we typically need to be motivated not by the greatest happiness principle, but by attitudes such as love, concern, or respect for them as individuals standing in particular relationships to us. To have such attitudes, of course, is just part of what it is to be benevolent, loyal, kind, filial, and brotherly. So by including these virtues among the goods that provide its fundamental ethical justifications, the Mohist theory may have the resources to avoid an untenable split between justification and motivation. It is possible that Mohist ethics may help to provide insights — whether positive or negative remains to be seen — into how to incorporate virtues into an adequate normative theory.

In Mohist texts the word typically seems to refer to a dispassionate concern about the welfare of its object. Ancient critics objected mostly to their frugal, austere lifestyle, opposition to music, and plain burial practices, which recognized no differences in social rank. Little was said about their core ethical doctrines. Many later Confucian critics have followed Mencius in focusing on inclusive care, maintaining that it runs counter to human nature. The doctrine deserves careful attention, partly to evaluate this criticism and partly to draw philosophical lessons from how the Mohists apply the notion of impartiality that stands at the heart of their ethics.

They may hold that the presence of one is a sufficient condition for the other. Yet an important difference between the two is indicated by the adverbs in the two parts of the slogan. The attitude of care is all-inclusive, encompassing everyone. Beneficial behavior is not all-inclusive, but directed only at those with whom we actually interact. The Mohists offer two sorts of arguments to justify inclusive care. Social harm arises from excluding other people, families, cities, and states from the scope of moral concern.

This exclusion leads to injury, crime, violence, and failure to practice the virtues associated with the fundamental social relations. That being so, then what is the reason that inclusion can replace exclusion? One would be for others as for oneself. That being so, then states and cities not attacking and assaulting each other, people and clans not disordering and injuring each other, is this harm to the world? Or is it benefit to the world? Then we must say, It is benefit to the world. Are they produced from detesting others and injuring others?

We must say, They are produced from caring about others and benefiting others. This attitude is not, as sometimes thought, one of distinguishing differences of degree in our concern for others, according to the closeness of their relation to us. Indeed, the Mohists never seriously consider that alternative. We can grant that their arguments establish that bie , or excluding others from all concern, is morally wrong, and that inclusive care has good consequences and is thus benevolent and permissible. But if their aim is to show that inclusive care is obligatory, then the Mohists are posing a false dilemma. Alternatively, instead of criticizing the Mohists for trading on a false dilemma, we could say that their arguments justify inclusive care, but only in the weak sense that we are obliged to be morally concerned for everyone to at least some degree.

The question then is, to what degree? When we look to the texts for specifics of what inclusive care demands, the answer is not obvious. What we find is a disparity between statements describing the attitude of inclusive care and concrete examples of its practice. In theory, inclusive care is apparently equal concern for all. If this interpretation is correct, the doctrine is probably untenable. Most human beings are naturally inclined to feel sympathy for others, including strangers, and thus to care to some degree about their welfare. But it would take a heroic feat of social engineering to get us all to care about strangers exactly as much as we care about ourselves and those close to us. And even with the proviso that we need benefit only those with whom we actually interact, the standard of equal care for others would seem to carry with it impossibly high practical demands.

Oddly, then, the consequences and examples of inclusive care described elsewhere in the texts suggest that the practical requirements of the doctrine are not especially burdensome. Indeed, the specific examples given largely conform to what many citizens of contemporary Western liberal democracies would consider commonsense moral decency. The actual practice of inclusive care seems to demand no more than the absence of harm or hostility to others; virtuous performance of our social roles as ruler, subject, father, son, or brother, thus contributing to the welfare of our family and community; helping friends and neighbors in need; and assisting the elderly, solitary, and orphaned, who have no family to care for them.

The only individuals expected to work equally on behalf of everyone are government leaders, who are responsible for benefiting all of their subjects. So we find a gap between the description of inclusive care as the attitude of caring equally for everyone and the practical examples in the texts. The latter suggest that inclusive care does not require extensive self-sacrifice or altruism, but is mainly a matter of looking after our family, neighbors, and community and not interfering with others as they attempt to do the same.

The later Mohist texts provide an explanation of this disparity, though one might dispute whether we are justified in reading the later doctrine into the earlier essays. Fragments preserved in the Da Qu , Book 44 of the Mozi , maintain that we are to care equally for everyone, but to benefit some people more and others less, depending on the nature of their relation to us. Equal care does not entail equal treatment. As political and moral reformers, the Mohists were concerned not only to justify the doctrine of inclusive care, but to persuade everyone in society to adopt and practice it. The first and most obvious objection is that inclusive care is too difficult. In response, the Mohists claim that in fact it is far less difficult than other deeds rulers have led their people to perform in the past, such as sacrificing their lives, limiting their diets, and wearing rough clothing.

First, people naturally tend to emulate admired and respected leaders, so if rulers encourage inclusive care, people will tend to practice it. Third, people naturally tend to reciprocate good treatment, so caring for and benefiting others is in our long-term self-interest. The second objection is that inclusive care is practically impossible. The reply is that it is possible, because the sage-kings actually practiced it. The texts cite purportedly historical examples to show that the sage-kings ruled fairly and impartially, performed public works projects that benefited everyone, brought peace to society, and ensured that the needy were provided for. Again, these examples tend to suggest that the crux of, and perhaps a sufficient condition for, the practice of inclusive care is beneficial actions, not the psychological attitude of equal care for everyone.

Generating benefits when put into use as a social policy is the third of the three models the Mohists propose to evaluate statements or teachings. Interestingly, this criticism works only because the writers assume that the issue at hand is the choice of a dao way , a universal, social system of norms of conduct. They seem to assume that all of our choices and actions issue from such norms.

Thus they hold that in preferring inclusive care in others, we commit ourselves to it as a code to be observed by all, including ourselves. To them, the stance of a rational egoist who prefers that everyone else, but not he, practice the dao is incoherent. Here, as in their reply to the first objection, the Mohists make the plausible assumption that humans have a natural tendency toward reciprocity. Psychologically, then, inclusive care is consistent with our existing motivation to care for our parents, while morally it is justified as an indirect means of benefiting them.

Other Mohist texts present a fuller picture of moral motivation. Its central premises are that people tend to be strongly committed to doing what they think is right, they tend to desire the basic goods that follow from the practice of inclusive care, they tend to follow political leadership and seek peer approval, and with the exception of miscreants responsible for social disorder, they tend to seek not only their own self-interest but the interest of their family and community. Hence most people already possess strong moral motivation and some degree of empathy for others.

What is needed to get most people to act morally, then, is mainly education and normative arguments, which will help them to correctly identify what is right. The Mohists justify their consequentialist ethics by appeal to the intention of Heaven Tian , which they believe provides an objective criterion of morality. Its intentions are consistently or reliably benevolent and righteous. Above, he uses it to measure how the kings, dukes, and great men of the world administer the penal codes and government; below, he uses it to gauge how the myriad people of the world engage in writings and studies and present statements and discussions.

So he sets this up as a fa model , establishes this as a standard, and uses it to measure the benevolence ren and unbenevolence of the kings, dukes, great men, secretaries, and ministers in the world, and, to give an analogy, it is like dividing black from white. On the one hand, it serves as a criterion of what is morally righteous and thus a basis for ethical justification. In the passage above, for example, it is used to evaluate whether actions, statements, and practices are morally right. On the other hand, it also serves as a practical moral guideline.

In practice, we can test particular actions or types of conduct against it to determine how to proceed. The Mohists give a number of moral reasons. As we saw earlier , they argue that unlike any particular human role model or cultural or historical standard, Heaven is reliably ren benevolent , because it is impartial, benevolent, and enduring. They support this conclusion by running through a quick circle of extensional equivalences. Righteousness is good government, because a necessary and sufficient condition for social order is that righteousness obtain in the world.

In good government, the noble and knowledgeable govern the ignorant and common. Heaven is the noblest and most knowledgeable, so righteousness issues from it. To follow the right dao , then, we can emulate Heaven and learn to conform to the norms it follows. But we can observe its actions, deduce its desires and intentions, and then conform to those. And what we find is that Heaven desires that people care for and benefit each other Book 4. It desires that righteousness yi prevail, and thus desires life, wealth, and social order for people Book Indeed, it desires all of the goods posited by Mohist ethical theory, including peace and security, social harmony and cooperation, economic sufficiency, and the practice of the virtues associated with the key social roles Book We know Heaven desires these things because its actions show that it cares for and benefits everyone without discrimination.

It is benevolent, providing all people with life, sustenance, and natural resources. It enforces morality by avenging crimes against the innocent. It rewarded the six ancient sage-kings, who cared for and benefited the people, and punished the four tyrants, who despised and hurt the people. It possesses all the people of the world as a ruler possesses his subjects, and thus it cares about everyone, just as a ruler cares about his subjects. In short, Heaven itself desires the goods the Mohist ethical theory adopts as criteria of what is morally right.

Moreover, these religious beliefs are crucial to the Mohist worldview, and an inaccurate, distorted picture of their thought results if we neglect them. Still, there are strong grounds for denying that the Mohists hold a divine command theory. This claim asserts an extensional equivalence, not an analysis, definition, or exposition. Their grounds are not simply the religious belief that Heaven must be obeyed because it is a deity or because it punishes disobedience. Rather, they argue that Heaven is a guide to what is benevolent and righteous because it is a supremely noble, wise, impartial, benevolent, and reliable agent.

To support their contention that Heaven desires what is righteous yi , for example, they characterize righteousness as comprising life, wealth, and order and claim that Heaven desires these. Phrased in terms of the Euthyphro dilemma, their stance is fairly clear: What is righteous is not righteous because Heaven intends it. Rather, Heaven intends it because it is righteous. Their conception of Heaven is in effect that of a morally ideal sovereign, whom they characterize as wise or all-knowing, all-embracing, benevolent, generous, and impartial. The Mohists imply that the correct moral norms are those that such an agent would follow or intend that human beings follow. The problem is that the characteristics they build into this conception of an ideal agent are just those they already hold should be articulated by a satisfactory ethical theory, such as impartial, benevolent concern for the welfare of all.

Arguably, then, the appeal to Heaven does not justify Mohist ethics so much as simply illustrate or articulate it. The idea of objectively justifying our practices and standards of conduct by appeal to the abstract, decontextualized stance of an ideally impartial and benevolent agent is at least prima facie plausible. But the Mohist theory risks confusing this with the much less plausible idea that in practice we should guide our conduct by emulating a benevolent deity who cares impartially for all.

In effect, they conflate the idea of seeking an impartial justification for our actions, which are taken from within a particular, and thus necessarily partial, context, with that of adopting an impartial point of view, but one that, impossibly, is abstracted from any particular context. In some contexts, Mohist arguments are careful to avoid conflating these points, but in others they verge on identifying the attitudes of the benevolent person with those of Heaven itself.

The basic structure of the Mohist ethical theory is simple yet profound. From this foundation, the Mohists develop a consequentialist account of the benevolent ren and the righteous yi in terms of a set of goods that constitute benefit or welfare. Community practices are justified by their instrumental value in promoting the welfare of all. The theory recognizes that individuals exist within a web of social relations, which partly define their identities and duties, and that strong social relationships are a crucial part of human welfare. It assigns virtues a role in guiding action and in constituting good social relations. The theory is loosely formulated, inelegantly expressed, and supported by arguments that to modern readers may in places seem rudimentary or simplistic.

Still, coming at the beginning of the philosophical discourse of ancient China, it represents a quantum leap in theory construction and argumentation in comparison to earlier Confucian discourse. Moreover, the general type of consequentialist approach it lays out remains a well-regarded option in ethical theory today. The strong point of the Mohist theory is that it grounds moral righteousness yi on two key notions, impartiality and human welfare. Yet the major defects of Mohist ethical thought lie precisely in how these ideas are handled.

The locus of impartiality is misplaced, and the conception of human welfare is too narrow. Their approach to finding objective, impartial ethical norms is to advocate that each individual be impartially motivated by equal concern for all. But in practice we cannot possibly act for all others as though acting for ourselves, and unlike Heaven, we are rarely in a position to act on behalf of everyone. So the Mohists fail to articulate a conception of impartiality that is viable in practice.

Impartial, equal concern cannot defensibly be advocated as the ideal ethical motivation of individual agents. One plausible response to this problem would be to develop a form of rule or practice consequentialism. These impartially justified practices and norms could then guide action in particular situations. In practice, of course, the Mohists adopt roughly just this approach. They advocate equal care for all, but allow that how we actually treat others will vary depending on our relation to them.

According to the later Mohist texts, where this doctrine of equal care but different treatment is presented explicitly, our treatment of others will be guided by standards of yi righteousness , which probably articulate practices the Mohists think best promote the welfare of everyone in society. The hitch is that such a practice-consequentialist approach is unlikely to support the Mohist doctrine of equal care for all. Rather, both treatment and care would probably be allowed to vary with relationship and context, provided that a basic minimum standard of concern — perhaps only non-interference, basic courtesy, and help in emergencies — were met for strangers to whom we have no special relation.

To this, the Mohists might respond that we should still practice equal care, because it is the way of the sage-kings and the intention of Heaven, the highest moral exemplar, and its practice produces great benefit for the world. Also, as the Zhuangzi passage quoted earlier attests, many Mohists particularly revered and emulated Yu, the most self-sacrificing and altruistic of the sage-kings. But it is probably false that the general practice of equal care would yield the most benefit for the world. The idea of disconnecting care from treatment is counterintuitive.

In particular, it seems unlikely that we could genuinely exercise the virtues associated with the key social relations without also caring more about the people to whom we are related. Moreover, tremendous practical problems would be involved in training everyone to care equally for all, requiring a vast expenditure of effort and wealth on ends that could be achieved just as well by the practice of inclusive, but unequal care. With a handful of exceptions, Mohist ethics dismisses aesthetic value and overlooks the psychophysical fulfillment achieved through the exercise of acquired skills—goods that are central to the Confucian and Daoist ways of life. Little attention is devoted to individual happiness or fulfillment or to articulating a conception of well-rounded human excellence.

Moreover, the Mohist conception of morality can at times seem aggressively one-sided and burdensome. One passage in the Mozi presents a conception of ideal human flourishing as a life of complete devotion to moral duty:. Their thin conception of human welfare may be one reason some Mohists saw a life of altruistic self-sacrifice as the way of the sages. If satisfying basic material needs is sufficient to secure our welfare, then once those needs are met, we have little worthwhile to do but help others.

Their texts imply an environment in which hardship due to poverty, poor harvests, cold, hunger, or war is never far off. So naturally they focus on the basic goods needed for physical and economic security: a stable government, material wealth, strong family bonds, and charity to neighbors in need. Mohism is in effect a refugee ethic, born from hard times, that values material welfare and parsimony above all else. If conditions are really as harsh as the Mohists imply — a premise that Xunzi, a friend of the aristocracy, will deny — then their narrow focus is defensible, and in arguing that elaborate musical shows and burial practices are wasteful and immoral, for instance, they are on firm ground.

The problem is that the Mohists never reflect on the possibility that in more prosperous and egalitarian conditions, music and other cultural activities could be valuable contributions to human well-being. If Mohist ethics faces a problem of moral motivation, it is probably because their impoverished conception of human welfare excludes too much that people genuinely value. Though brief, their descriptions of their beliefs and practices provide a rare direct glimpse into the religion of one portion of the sub-elite populace of ancient China.

Like much traditional Chinese religious thought, Mohist beliefs are in effect an extension of the social and political system to incorporate relations with a personified conception of nature and various sentient, intelligent entities with whom humans share the natural world. The Zhou dynasty nature deity Tian Heaven, nature, the sky is the counterpart and superior in this extended system of the human sovereign. Other elements include the Shang dynasty high god di and a variety of ghosts and spirits, from those of deceased human ancestors to those of natural, geographical features such as mountains and rivers. The various beings that constitute this personified natural setting enforce morality by rewarding the worthy and punishing the wicked. Humans view them as objects of respect, gratitude, and fear, sacrificing animals and offering millet and wine to feed and placate them and to seek their blessings.

At the pinnacle of the cosmic sociopolitical hierarchy stands Tian. Tian created humans, set the sun, moon, and stars on their regular paths through the sky, fashioned the landscape, and established the four seasons and weather so that crops could grow. It provides people with the sustenance and natural resources by which they live. It established government to watch over people and administer rewards and punishments.

All people are its subjects and owe it veneration and gratitude for its many gifts. As the highest, noblest, and wisest moral agent, it embodies correct moral norms and thus serves as a role model by which to judge the morality of practices and actions. Tian does not exist outside of time, space, or nature, nor is it considered perfect or unchanging. It is not the creator of nature, but rather is nature, or part thereof. Tian is personified as a sociopolitical authority, but it is considerably less anthropomorphic than the Judeo-Christian God.

It has desires and intentions, and it speaks, but only as if thinking to itself, not directly to humans. Tian generally does not inform humans of its desires or intentions by revelation though in crises it may dispatch a spirit envoy, such as a fantastic talking bird. Rather, we must discern them for ourselves by observing its behavior. Humans sacrifice to Tian , but usually do not pray to it or address it directly. However, we do have an implicit agreement with Tian that if we conform to its desires, it will reward us in turn.

Specifically, care for and benefit to others will be rewarded, contempt and injury punished. The Mohists have no concept of religious salvation or of another realm to which we go after death. Tian is of course not a transcendent place or realm but an embodiment of nature. When people die, they become ghosts, which exist within the natural world. Unlike in Christianity, people are not rewarded or punished in the next world for their deeds in this one.

Rather, the Mohists insist that Tian and the ghosts will reward and punish people while they are alive. Unfortunately, the Mohist responses to these criticisms in the end amount mainly to ad hoc excuses. In fact, the Mohists are deeply dedicated to maintaining harmonious, reverential relations with Tian , ancestral ghosts, and nature spirits, and both their rhetoric and practices devote much energy to religious veneration. They strive for but do not quite achieve a viable account of an impartial, objectively justified moral code. Both their insights and their errors are of great philosophical interest. Their ethical theory has important defects, but one of its major strengths is that these could probably be remedied without abandoning the basic structure of the theory.

Mohism never achieved a position of dominance or orthodoxy, but at its peak in the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE, no school was more influential. Though their importance is routinely slighted in Confucian-biased accounts of Chinese thought, the Mohists articulated much of the theoretical framework of early Chinese epistemology, logic, political theory, and ethics. Hence Mohism is sometimes depicted as a splinter movement not genuinely representative of the Chinese philosophical tradition. This view is false and anachronistic, however. Much of what is plausible or intriguing in Mohist thought directly reflects concepts, assumptions, and problems that were elements of mainstream Warring States intellectual discourse.

Mozi and his school fell into neglect and obscurity, their texts largely unread. Centuries later, the bulk of the Mozi was nearly lost to history, surviving only because it had been copied into a massive collection of Daoist scripture. Interest in Mohism revived only late in the Qing dynasty — CE , when scholars, stimulated partly by contact with the West, went looking for untapped intellectual resources in their own tradition, particularly materials related to science and logic. Graham is probably right, for instance, to suggest that after the Qin unification, the Mohists lost the political influence they had exerted as expert craftsmen and defense specialists who helped smaller states survive during the Warring States era , p.

But the major factor is probably that as a social and philosophical movement, Mohism gradually collapsed into irrelevance. By the middle of the former Han dynasty, the more appealing aspects of Mohist thought were all shared with rival schools. Their core ethical doctrines had largely been absorbed into Confucianism, though in a modified and unsystematic form. Key features of their political philosophy were probably shared with most other political thinkers, and their trademark opposition to warfare had been rendered effectively redundant by unification.

The philosophy of language, epistemology, metaphysics, and science of the later Mohist Canons were recorded in difficult, dense texts that would have been nearly unintelligible to most readers and that in any case quickly became corrupt. What remained as distinctively Mohist was a package of harsh, unappealing economic and cultural views, such as their obsession with parsimony and their rejection of music and ritual.

Compared with the classical learning and rituals of the Confucians, the speculative metaphysics of Yin-Yang thinkers, and the romantic nature mysticism and literary sophistication of the Daoists, Mohism offered little to attract adherents, especially politically powerful ones. The school had always shown undue enthusiasm for radical, simplistic positions. Unwilling or unable to modify their doctrines or to develop new positions in response to their changing social and intellectual setting, the Mohists probably died out in the imperial era because their Warring States reformist social and political platform had become obsolete. The Ten Mohist Doctrines 3. Logic and Argumentation 6. Religion 9. For an exploration of the impact of this social background on Mohist thought, see the following supplement: Influence of Social Origins on Mohist Thought As their movement flourished in the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE, the Mohists branched into a number of groups, each led by a juzi , or grand master.

A Han dynasty text collected in the Zhuangzi claims that many Mohists believed it was their duty to emulate the legendary altruistic labors of the ancient sage king Yu: Many of the Mohists of later ages wear furs and rough clothing, clogs and grass slippers, never resting day or night, taking self-sacrifice as the highest. The Ten Mohist Doctrines As their movement developed, the Mohists came to present themselves as offering a collection of ten key doctrines, divided into five pairs. Government is to be structured as a centralized, bureaucratic state led by a virtuous monarch and managed by a hierarchy of appointed officials.

Military aggression is wrong for the same reasons that theft, robbery, and murder are: it harms others in pursuit of selfish benefit, while ultimately failing to benefit Heaven, the spirits, or society as a whole. Seeking always to bring wealth to the people and order to society, the ren benevolent person avoids wasting resources on extravagant funerals and prolonged mourning customs promoted by the Ru and others.

Heaven rewards those who obey its intent and punishes those who defy it, hence people should strive to be benevolent and do what is righteous. Social and moral order zhi can be advanced by encouraging belief in ghosts and spirits who reward the good and punish the wicked. Fatalism is not ren , because by teaching that our lot in life is predestined and human effort is useless, it interferes with the pursuit of economic wealth, a large population, and social order three primary goods that the benevolent person desires for society. Fatalism fails to meet a series of justificatory criteria and so must be rejected. How would it be for everyone to model themselves on their parents?

Those in the world who are parents are many, but those who are benevolent ren are few; if all model themselves on their parents, this is modeling the unbenevolent. That being so, then what is acceptable to take as a model for order? So I say, Nothing is like modeling on Heaven. So the sage-kings modeled themselves on it. What is the reason for this? But collect white and black things together and make the blind select from among them, and they cannot know. Political Theory Mohist political thought begins with a distinctive, fascinating state of nature account of the origin and justification of the state. Thus, inside the family, fathers and sons, elder and younger brothers became resentful and scattered, unable to remain together with each other peacefully.

The people of the world all injured each other with water, fire, and poison. The disorder luan in the world was like that among the birds and beasts. Thus the village head was the most benevolent man in the village. What the district head deems right shi , all must deem right; what the district head deems wrong fei , all must deem wrong. Eliminate your bad statements and learn the good statements of the district head; eliminate your bad conduct and learn the good conduct of the district head.

Then how could the district be in disorder?! Now if in the heavens whirlwinds and bitter rain come again and again, this is how Heaven punishes the people for not identifying upward with Heaven. Critical Assessment Aspects of the Mohist political system are plausible and psychologically insightful. Ethical Theory Early Mohist writings have a practical, not theoretical orientation. The task of the benevolent is surely to diligently seek to promote the benefit of the world and eliminate harm to the world and to take this as a model fa throughout the world.

Does it benefit people? Then do it. Does it not benefit people? Then stop. All levels of society conform to unified moral standards, and incentives and disincentives based on these standards are administered fairly by virtuous leaders, as described in Mohist political theory. Peace, security, and social harmony prevail, characterized negatively as the absence of crime, deceit, harassment, injury, conflict, and military aggression. Members of society manifest virtues constitutive of the proper performance of their relational social roles as ruler or subject, father or son, and elder or younger brother. Order obtains only when the ruler is benevolent, his subjects are loyal, fathers are kind, sons are filial, and elder and younger brothers display brotherly love and respect.

Like much ancient thought, Mohism has a sexist bias, and with few exceptions the texts disregard the social roles of women. Community members habitually engage in reciprocal assistance and charity, sharing information, labor, education, and surplus goods and aiding the destitute and unfortunate. Benevolent people inform each other of the patterns by which they select or reject, deem right or deem wrong. Those who lack a reason follow those who have a reason. Lacking remarks to offer in their defense, they surely submit; seeing good, they surely reform.

Justification and the Role of Heaven The Mohists justify their consequentialist ethics by appeal to the intention of Heaven Tian , which they believe provides an objective criterion of morality. Critical Assessment The basic structure of the Mohist ethical theory is simple yet profound. One passage in the Mozi presents a conception of ideal human flourishing as a life of complete devotion to moral duty: When silent, ponder; when speaking, instruct; when acting, work. Make these three alternate and surely you will be a sage.

You must eliminate happiness and eliminate anger, eliminate joy and eliminate sorrow, eliminate fondness and eliminate dislike, and use benevolence and righteousness. Your hands, feet, mouth, nose, and ears undertaking righteousness, surely you will be a sage. Bibliography Works cited in the article: Brooks, A. Durrant, Stephen W. Graham, A. Lenk and G. Paul, eds. Lau, D. Maeder, Erik W. Yates, Robin D. Ivanhoe, Philip J. Van Norden, eds. Partial translation. Johnston, Ian, tr. Complete translation. Knoblock, John, and Jeffrey Riegel trans.

Mei, Yi-pao, tr. Watson, Burton, tr. I, Derk Bodde trans. Shaughnessy and M. Loewe eds. Defoort, Carine, and Nicolas Standaert eds. Fraser, D. Robins, and T. Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley. Mei, Y. Academic Tools How to cite this entry. Enhanced bibliography for this entry at PhilPapers , with links to its database. Open access to the SEP is made possible by a world-wide funding initiative. Mirror Sites View this site from another server:.

Jin Ping Mei , published in , although incorporating earlier material, marks the trend toward independent composition and concern with psychology. Theater scripts were equally imaginative. Informal essay and travel writing was another highlight. Xu Xiake — , a travel literature author, published his Travel Diaries in , written characters , with information on everything from local geography to mineralogy. In contrast to Xu Xiake, who focused on technical aspects in his travel literature, the Chinese poet and official Yuan Hongdao — used travel literature to express his desires for individualism as well as autonomy from and frustration with Confucian court politics.

This anti-official sentiment in Yuan's travel literature and poetry was actually following in the tradition of the Song dynasty poet and official Su Shi — They drew upon the techniques, styles, and complexity in painting achieved by their Song and Yuan predecessors, but added techniques and styles. Well-known Ming artists could make a living simply by painting due to the high prices they demanded for their artworks and the great demand by the highly cultured community to collect precious works of art. The artist Qiu Ying was once paid 2. Renowned artists often gathered an entourage of followers, some who were amateurs who painted while pursuing an official career and others who were full-time painters.

The period was also renowned for ceramics and porcelains. The major production center for porcelain was the imperial kilns at Jingdezhen in Jiangxi province, most famous in the period for blue and white porcelain , but also producing other styles. The Dehua porcelain factories in Fujian catered to European tastes by creating Chinese export porcelain by the late 16th century. Individual potters also became known, such as He Chaozong , who became famous in the early 17th century for his style of white porcelain sculpture. Carved designs in lacquerware and designs glazed onto porcelain wares displayed intricate scenes similar in complexity to those in painting.

The houses of the rich were also furnished with rosewood furniture and feathery latticework. The writing materials in a scholar's private study, including elaborately carved brush holders made of stone or wood, were designed and arranged ritually to give an aesthetic appeal. Connoisseurship in the late Ming period centered on these items of refined artistic taste, which provided work for art dealers and even underground scammers who themselves made imitations and false attributions. The dominant religious beliefs during the Ming dynasty were the various forms of Chinese folk religion and the Three Teachings — Confucianism , Taoism , and Buddhism. The Yuan -supported Tibetan lamas fell from favor, and the early Ming emperors particularly favored Taoism, granting its practitioners many positions in the state's ritual offices.

The Yongle emperor and later emperors strongly patronised Tibetan Buddhism by supporting construction, printing of sutras, ceremonies etc, to seek legitimacy among foreign audiences. Yongle tried to portray himself as a Buddhist ideal king, a cakravartin. Islam was also well-established throughout China, with a history said to have begun with Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas during the Tang dynasty and strong official support during the Yuan.

The Ming Emperors strongly sponsored the construction of mosques and granted generous liberties for the practice of Islam. The advent of the Ming was initially devastating to Christianity: in his first year, the Hongwu Emperor declared the eighty-year-old Franciscan missions among the Yuan heterodox and illegal. During the later Ming a new wave of Christian missionaries arrived — particularly Jesuits — who employed new western science and technology in their arguments for conversion. They were educated in Chinese language and culture at St.

Paul's College on Macau after its founding in The most influential was Matteo Ricci , whose " Map of the Myriad Countries of the World " upended traditional geography throughout East Asia, and whose work with the convert Xu Guangqi led to the first Chinese translation of Euclid 's Elements in The discovery of a Nestorian stele at Xi'an in also permitted Christianity to be treated as an old and established faith, rather than as a new and dangerous cult. However, there were strong disagreements about the extent to which converts could continue to perform rituals to the emperor , Confucius , or their ancestors : Ricci had been very accommodating and an attempt by his successors to backtrack from this policy led to the Nanjing Incident of , which exiled four Jesuits to Macau and forced the others out of public life for six years.

However, by the end of the Ming the Dominicans had begun the Chinese Rites controversy in Rome that would eventually lead to a full ban of Christianity under the Qing dynasty. During his mission, Ricci was also contacted in Beijing by one of the approximately 5, Kaifeng Jews and introduced them and their long history in China to Europe. During the Ming dynasty, the Neo-Confucian doctrines of the Song scholar Zhu Xi were embraced by the court and the Chinese literati at large, although the direct line of his school was destroyed by the Yongle Emperor 's extermination of the ten degrees of kinship of Fang Xiaoru in The Ming scholar most influential upon subsequent generations, however, was Wang Yangming — , whose teachings were attacked in his own time for their similarity to Chan Buddhism.

Other scholar-bureaucrats were wary of Wang's heterodoxy, the increasing number of his disciples while he was still in office, and his overall socially rebellious message. To curb his influence, he was often sent out to deal with military affairs and rebellions far away from the capital. Yet his ideas penetrated mainstream Chinese thought and spurred new interest in Taoism and Buddhism. The liberal views of Wang Yangming were opposed by the Censorate and by the Donglin Academy , re-established in These conservatives wanted a revival of orthodox Confucian ethics.

Conservatives such as Gu Xiancheng — argued against Wang's idea of innate moral knowledge, stating that this was simply a legitimization for unscrupulous behavior such as greedy pursuits and personal gain. These two strands of Confucian thought, hardened by Chinese scholars' notions of obligation towards their mentors, developed into pervasive factionalism among the ministers of state, who used any opportunity to impeach members of the other faction from court. Wang Gen was able to give philosophical lectures to many commoners from different regions because — following the trend already apparent in the Song dynasty — communities in Ming society were becoming less isolated as the distance between market towns was shrinking.

Schools, descent groups, religious associations, and other local voluntary organizations were increasing in number and allowing more contact between educated men and local villagers. A variety of occupations could be chosen or inherited from a father's line of work. This would include — but was not limited to — coffin makers, ironworkers and blacksmiths, tailors, cooks and noodle-makers, retail merchants, tavern, teahouse, or winehouse managers, shoemakers, seal cutters, pawnshop owners, brothel heads, and merchant bankers engaging in a proto-banking system involving notes of exchange.

A small township also provided a place for simple schooling, news and gossip, matchmaking, religious festivals, traveling theater groups, tax collection, and bases of famine relief distribution. Farming villagers in the north spent their days harvesting crops like wheat and millet, while farmers south of the Huai River engaged in intensive rice cultivation and had lakes and ponds where ducks and fish could be raised. The cultivation of mulberry trees for silkworms and tea bushes could be found mostly south of the Yangzi River ; even further south sugarcane and citrus were grown as basic crops. Besides cutting down trees to sell wood, the poor also made a living by turning wood into charcoal, and by burning oyster shells to make lime and fired pots, and weaving mats and baskets.

Although the south had the characteristic of the wealthy landlord and tenant farmers, there were on average many more owner-cultivators north of the Huai River due to harsher climate, living not far above subsistence level. Early Ming dynasty saw the strictest sumptuary laws in Chinese history. It was illegal for commoners to wear fine silk or dress in bright red, dark green or yellow colors; nor could they wear boots or guan hats. Women could not use ornaments made from gold, jade, pearl or emerald. Merchants and their families were further banned from using silk. However, these laws were no longer enforced from the middle Ming period onwards.

After the flourishing of science and technology in the Song dynasty , the Ming dynasty perhaps saw fewer advancements in science and technology compared to the pace of discovery in the Western world. In fact, key advances in Chinese science in the late Ming were spurred by contact with Europe. When the Ming founder Hongwu came upon the mechanical devices housed in the Yuan dynasty's palace at Khanbaliq — such as fountains with balls dancing on their jets, self-operating tiger automata , dragon-headed devices that spouted mists of perfume, and mechanical clocks in the tradition of Yi Xing — and Su Song — — he associated all of them with the decadence of Mongol rule and had them destroyed.

The Chinese were intrigued with European technology, but so were visiting Europeans of Chinese technology. In , Abraham Ortelius — featured in his atlas Theatrum Orbis Terrarum the peculiar Chinese innovation of mounting masts and sails onto carriages , just like Chinese ships. This includes mechanical and hydraulic powered devices for agriculture and irrigation, [] nautical technology such as vessel types and snorkeling gear for pearl divers, [] [] [] the annual processes of sericulture and weaving with the loom , [] metallurgic processes such as the crucible technique and quenching , [] manufacturing processes such as for roasting iron pyrite in converting sulphide to oxide in sulfur used in gunpowder compositions — illustrating how ore was piled up with coal briquettes in an earthen furnace with a still-head that sent over sulfur as vapor that would solidify and crystallize [] — and the use of gunpowder weapons such as a naval mine ignited by use of a rip-cord and steel flint wheel.

Focusing on agriculture in his Nongzheng Quanshu , the agronomist Xu Guangqi — took an interest in irrigation, fertilizers, famine relief, economic and textile crops, and empirical observation of the elements that gave insight into early understandings of chemistry. There were many advances and new designs in gunpowder weapons during the beginning of the dynasty, but by the mid to late Ming the Chinese began to frequently employ European-style artillery and firearms.

This includes hollow, gunpowder-filled exploding cannonballs , [] land mines that used a complex trigger mechanism of falling weights, pins, and a steel wheellock to ignite the train of fuses, [] naval mines, [] fin-mounted winged rockets for aerodynamic control, [] multistage rockets propelled by booster rockets before igniting a swarm of smaller rockets issuing forth from the end of the missile shaped like a dragon's head , [] and hand cannons that had up to ten barrels.

Li Shizhen — — one of the most renowned pharmacologists and physicians in Chinese history — belonged to the late Ming period. His Bencao Gangmu is a medical text with 1, entries, each entry with its own name called a gang. The mu in the title refers to the synonyms of each name. Throughout the Ming dynasty, around fifty texts were published on the treatment of smallpox.

Sinologist historians debate the population figures for each era in the Ming dynasty. The historian Timothy Brook notes that the Ming government census figures are dubious since fiscal obligations prompted many families to underreport the number of people in their households and many county officials to underreport the number of households in their jurisdiction. The practice is well documented in China, going back over two thousand years, and it was described as "rampant" and "practiced by almost every family" by contemporary authors. The number of people counted in the census of was 59,,; however, this number dropped significantly when the government found that some 3 million people were missing from the tax census of The government tried to mitigate this by creating their own conservative estimate of 60,, people in Historians are now turning to local gazetteers of Ming China for clues that would show consistent growth in population.

Even with the Jiajing reforms to document migrant workers and merchants, by the late Ming era the government census still did not accurately reflect the enormous growth in population. Gazetteers across the empire noted this and made their own estimations of the overall population in the Ming, some guessing that it had doubled, tripled, or even grown fivefold since From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Ming disambiguation and Ming Dynasty disambiguation. Imperial seal [a]. Ming China in during the reign of the Yongle Emperor. Remnants of the Ming imperial family ruled southern China until as the Southern Ming. The Ming loyalist state Kingdom of Tungning on Taiwan lasted until , but it was not ruled by the Zhu clan and thus usually not considered part of the Southern Ming.

History of China. Related articles. Chinese historiography Timeline of Chinese history Dynasties in Chinese history Linguistic history Art history Economic history Education history Science and technology history Legal history Media history Military history Naval history Women in ancient and imperial China. Main article: History of the Ming dynasty. See also: Timeline of the Ming dynasty. Main article: Ming conquest of Yunnan. Main article: Manchuria under Ming rule. Main article: Sino-Tibetan relations during the Ming dynasty. Main article: Yongle Emperor. Main article: Fall of the Ming dynasty. Further information: Europeans in Medieval China. Further information: Transition from Ming to Qing.

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