Confucianism Daoist Legalist Comparison and Contrast Essay

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Though the Zhou dynasty was filled with continuous warring and unsteady governments, a numerous amount of philosophies began to materialize; Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism being the most known as they largely impacted both China’s society and politics. Each philosophy had their own distinct idea as to what an exalted political society should be, however there were similarities and a common ground on certain areas. After the death of Confucius, Confucianism came to be one of the most influential philosophies throughout Chinese history with the help of his devoted disciples who helped to continue his work. Confucianism stressed the importance of achieving total harmony, obedience and order. As shown in Document 1 which is an excerpt from Confucius’s “The Small Analects”, Confucius states that a gentleman should learn to be faithful, trustworthy, and be able to take the blame for their mistakes. He says if a gentleman should ever be “frivolous”. As well, Confucius believed in five relationships, and if these five relationships were sound and secure, society would be too. Document 9 which is taken from Confucius’s “The Analects of Confucius 1.6” shows a father/son relationship. It explains that son must faithfully obey and respect his elders, as well as being faithful, honest etc, and if there was enough energy left in him, he could study literature and arts. These two documents show what a person influenced by Confucianism acted like in society. As time went on, another philosophy called Daoism emerged and become popular with the commoners of China. Both Confucianism and Daoism believed total harmony with society was needed to be achieved as well as encouraging peace, and goodwill. However, Daoism put more emphasis on “the way”. It was believed that he Dao is neither good nor bad but just is and cannot change and people must learn to live

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