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An introduction to Chinese philosophies and China's educational system – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: CultureQuest PowerPoint

Chinese Philosophies
  • One Country, One Hundred Schools of Thought A
    Quest to Understand Chinas Educational System

Overview A youth, when at home, should be
filial, and abroad, respectful to others. He
should be earnest and truthful.The Analects 
  • During the latter portion of the Chou (Zhou)
    Dynasty, a number of significant philosophers
  • This period, often considered the classical age
    of China, is known as the period of a hundred
    schools of thought.
  • Confucius, Lao Tzu, Mencius, Mo-ti, and
    Chuang-tzu all lived during this period (Chou,
  • These important figures all responded to the
    disorder of the times with new and creative ideas
    (Chou, 2009).
  • The four most popular Chinese belief systems
    (Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, and Legalism)
    all share the common goal of morally
    educating their followers.

ConfuciusI hear and I forget. I see
and I remember. I do and I understand.
  • Born around 551 B.C. during the Warring States
    Period (Foy, 2010).
  • Teachings became far more popular and influential
    after his death than in his own lifetime (Foy,
  • Placed emphasis on the treatment of others as a
    means of finding harmony in life (Foy, 2010).
    Filial Piety, Moral righteousness, and social
  • Confucius argued that all human beings were
    capable of perfecting themselves and becoming
  • Two of his followers, Mencius and Hsun Tzu, had
    conflicting opinions on Confucius ideas about
    human nature (Introduction to Confucian Thought,
  • Menciushuman nature is inherently good, although
    man must work to maintain this good nature
    (Introduction to Confucian Thought, 2009).
  • Hsun Tzuhumans are evil by nature, but are
    capable of becoming good through hard work and
    dedication (Introduction to Confucian Thought,
  • A modern connection to ancient teachings-a must
    read LA Times column.

ConfucianismFamily Ties
  • The family is seen as the main social unit.
  • Familial relationships were held above all others
    and represented three of the Five Constant
    Relationships, which show a relation between all
  • Sovereign to Subject
  • Husband to Wife
  • Father to Son
  • Older Brother to Younger Brother
  • Friend to Friend
  • Filial Piety is the cornerstone of Confucianism,
    which is the loyalty of a child to his/her
    parents. A childs most important duty was to
    honor their ancestors, family, and especially
    their father.
  • Parallel between familial relationships and
    government. Ruler is seen as Son of Heaven and
    Father of the People (Introduction to Confucian
    Thought, 2009).
  • Civil Service was created under the Confucian Han
    Dynasty. Provided all people with education and
    training necessary to pass civil service exams
    and hold government offices.
  • Governmental power was not reserved for nobility,
    rather all citizens were given the chance to
    receive an education and sit for civil service
  • Confucianism encouraged rulers to set a moral
    example for the people.

Lao Tzu(Old Master)A journey of 1,000 miles
begins with a single step.-Lao Tzu
  • Date of birth is unknown.
  • Loosely referred to as the founder of Taoism,
    however, little fact is actually known about him.
  • Some legends offer that Confucius actually sought
    the advice of the Old Master or Old Man,
    however, there is no confirmation of this.
  • Is said to have written a short book, which is
    often referred to as Laozi (Chan, 2007, p. 2).
  • Taught that there are principles in nature, and
    human beings are modeled after heaven and earth,
    which are governed by the same basic principles
    as human beings (Chan, 2007, p. 23)

  • A major principle is the idea of non-action,
    which is not the act of doing nothing, but
    rather, the act of doing nothing that could be
    considered unnatural.
  • Basic beliefs conflict with the teachings of
    Confucianism, Taoists reject the principles of
    hierarchy, power, and control.
  • The un-carved block, in its simplicity and
    natural state, has served as a popular symbol for
    Taoists. This image reflects the Taoist emphasis
    on spontaneity and simplicity (Introduction to
    Daoism, 2009).
  • Winnie the Pooh is considered, by some, a Taoist.
    There is even a popular book titled, The Tao of
    Pooh, which explains the connection between the
    lovable childrens character and the ancient
    philosophy of Taoism.
  • Tao is the first force in the Universe, and is
    considered the life force, which flows through
    everything (Robinson, 1995)

Founders of LegalismHumaneness may make one
shed tears and be reluctant to apply penalties,
but law makes it clear that such penalties must
be applied.
  • Shang Yang One of Han Feis teachers,
    considered one of the earliest Legalists
    (Selections from Han Feizi, 2009).
  • Han Fei (Han Feizi) was once a student of the
    Confucian scholar, Xunzi, however, he abandoned
    Confucianism for the more stringent principles of
    Legalism. Famous for creating a synthesis of
    Taoism and Legalism in his book Han Feizi.
  • Li Si also a former student of Xunzi, and
    served as Prime Minister under Emperor Qin Shi
    Huangdi. Used Legalism to help the Qin Emperor
    unify China (Memorial on Annexation, 2009)

Li Si
  • Legalists borrowed certain ideas from Taoists,
    many founders also had ties to the Confucian
  • Despite close ties with other philosophies, the
    basic principles of Legalism generally conflict
    with the other philosophies of Ancient China.
  • Legalists sought to organize society on a
    rational basis, in order to strengthen the empire
    agriculturally and militarily.
  • Law was viewed as an alternative to morality.
  • In 213 B.C., upon the advice of scholar Li Si,
    Legalist Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi ordered the
    burning of all books that were not related to
    medicine, agriculture, divination, or forestry.
  • All historical records, with the exception of the
    Qin Dynastys records, were burned as well.
  • Scholars were ordered to hand over their books,
    and anyone who used historical information to
    criticize the present would be executed along
    with their family (Beck, 2004).

?Statue of Buddha on Silk Road
  • Although Buddhism was founded in India, it was
    brought to China during the Han Dynasty and only
    became popular after collapse of the dynasty
    caused a weakening of Confucian ideals.
  • The Chinese people found Buddhism comforting
    during the tumultuous times they were
  • Buddhism was very influential along the Silk
    Road, with monuments and temples constructed
    throughout the ancient trade routes.
  • Some legends state the Lao Tzu left China and
    traveled to India, where he became the Buddha.
    There is, however, no actual proof of this.
  • Despite its roots in India, China has taken
    Buddhism and adapted it to fit Chinese culture.
  • Source Introduction to Buddhism, 2007

Silk Road Buddha Coin
?Statue of Buddha on Silk Road
Buddhism Basic Principles
  • Four Noble Truths
  • To live is to suffer.
  • Desire is the cause of all suffering.
  • There is a way to end desire and suffering.
  • The Eightfold Path Leads to the end of suffering.
  • Eightfold Path
  • Dharma The teachings of Buddha.
  • Karma The sum of ones actions, which one
  • cannot escape such actions ultimately shape
  • who we become.
  • Nirvana Total freedom from suffering. Some
    Buddhists view Nirvana as a heaven-like state,
    others view it as enlightenment, and others
    still, as non-attachment to the cycle of birth,
    death, and rebirth.
  • Education Like Confucianism, Buddhism focuses
    on the moral education of the individual.
  • The goal of Buddhist education is to attain
    wisdom (Kung, n.d., p.4).
  • Based on filial piety (like Confucian education)
    (Kung, n.d., p.5).
  • There were two education ministries in China,
    following the arrival of Buddhism. One for
    traditional Confucian education, and the other
    for the rapidly-spreading Buddhist education
    (Kung, n.d., p.6)

  • Chan, A. (2007). Laozi. Stanford Encyclopedia
    of Philosophy. Retrieved July 31, 2010, from
  • Chou. (2009). Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia,
    6th Edition, 1. Retrieved July 31, 2010, from
    Academic Search Premier database.
  • Foy, G. (2010). Chinese belief systems From
    past to present and present to past. Asia
    Society. Retrieved July 31, 2010, from
  • Introduction to Buddhism. (2007). Spice Digest.
    Retrieved July 31, 2010, from http//iis-db.stanfo
  • Introduction to Confucian thought. (2009). Asia
    for Educators. Retrieved July 31, 2010, from
  • Introduction to Daoism. (2009). Asia for
    Educators. Retrieved July 31, 2010, from
  • Kung, C. (n.d.). Buddhism as an education.
    Buddha Dharma Education Association, Inc.
    Retrieved July 31, 2010, from http//www.buddhanet
  • Memorial on annexation of feudal states and
    memorial on the burning of books. (2009). Asia
    for Educators. Retrieved July 31, 2010, from
  • Ni, C. (2007). She makes Confucius cool again.
    LA Times. Retrieved July 31, 2010, from
  • Robinson, B.A. (1995). Taoism. Retrieved July
    31, 2010, from http//
  • Selections from Han Feizi, chapter 49 The five
    vermin. (2009). Asia for Educators. Retrieved
    July 31, 2010, from http//