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Chinese Philosophy.

1. Chinese philos. aims at the highest kind of life and ideally embraces both otherworldliness and this-worldliness, sublime and common, absolute and essential, transcendent and immanent.

2. Taoism* opposed nature to man and glorified Tao (way), which emphasized spontaneity and “inaction” (non-artificiality) in the sense of following nature by simplicity, tranquillity, and enlightenment. It is the way of sageliness within and kingliness without, aiming at attainment of the sublime and performance of common tasks. Great teachers of Taoism were Lao-tzu* and Chuang-tzu.*

3. Confucianism* advocated human-heartedness (jen), righteousness (yi), superior man (chun-tzu, “moral man, noble man”), the cultivation of life (hsiu shen; it results in harmony in family, state, world). This resulted in moralistic and humanistic teaching (chung, “being true to your nature”) which climaxed in chung yung (golden mean; find central clue of your being and live harmoniously with the universe). Outstanding teachers were Confucius,* Mencius,* and Hsün Tzu.*

4. Mohism (Moism), founded by Mo Ti (Mo-tzu; Micius; 5th–4th c.), taught universal love, pacifism, and utilitarianism. Yang Chu (ca. 440–360) emphasized “keeping essence of our being intact”; often compared with Epicurus.* Sophists (dialecticians; logicians), early called ming chia, literally “name school,” concentrated on relationship bet. substance and quality. The Yin-Yang school (400–200) emphasized contrasting but complementary principles. Yang (active; positive; male) pertains to all things in origination; yin (passive; negative; female) pertains to all things at time of their responding.

5. In the Middle period there was a fusion of Chinese philos. and development of Buddhism.* Liu An (Huai-nan Tzu; d. 122 BC; Taoist) and Tung Chung-shu (ca. 177–104; Confucian) fused Yin-Yang with Confucianism and combined Taoist metaphysics with Confucian ethics. This led to superstition, which was combated by Wang Ch'ung (27–97). Though not free of all superstition, he promoted a critical spirit.

6. Neo-Confucianism developed in 3 phases that emphasized reason (960–1368), mind (1368–1644), and moral law (1644–1911). Vital force and reason are basic in all phases. Greatest neo-Confucian was Chu Hsi (1130–1200). EL

Yu-Lan Fêng (Fung Yu-Lan), A History of Chinese Philosophy, tr. D. Bodde, rev. reprint, 2 vols. (Princeton, 1952–53) and The Spirit of Chinese Philosophy, tr. and ed. E. R. Hughes (London, 1947); A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy, comp. and tr. Wing-Tsit Chan (Princeton, 1963); A. Forke, Geschichte der alten chinesischen Philosophie, in Abhandlungen aus dem Gebiet der Auslandskunde, XXV (Hamburg, 1927), Geschichte der mittelalterlichen chinesischen Philosophie, in Abhandlungen aus dem Gebiet der Auslandskunde, XLI (Hamburg, 1934), and Geschichte der neueren chinesischen Philosophie, in Abhandlungen aus dem Gebiet der Auslandskunde, XLVI (Hamburg, 1938).

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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Content Reproduced with Permission

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