How Did Classical China Influence Classical Philosophies Of Confucianism

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Sally (Seungyoun) Noh HIST 482-01 Dr. Yoon October 20th, 2014 Midterm Take-home Essay #2 Boiling, charioting, and tattooing are famous punishments of early the Chinese legal system because of the heavy influence of the Legalism. These brutal penal codes created a negative image of the Chinese legal tradition and many people believe the sole influence on classical Chinese law was the Legalists. However, China’s legal tradition reflects not only Legalism, but also the philosophies of Confucianism and Daoism. Although the legal tradition of China had a tough penalty system, it ended up helping the Chinese emperors to effectively control the vast territory and maintain the social order. Classical philosophies of China have significantly influenced…show more content…
The core element of Confucianism, filial piety (xiao), or respect for elders, set a basis of the Chinese legal philosophy. In the Analects, Confucius said, “The lord acts as a lord, the minister as a minister, the father as a father, the son as a son, ” and explained what forms a stable government. In other words, if every person performs his or her role, stability and social order will be prolonged. Teaching about the complete obedience and loyalty, Confucius told his students, “A lord should serve a minister with ritual; a minister should serve his lord with integrity. ” The loyal relationships of the inferior to the superior and, at the same time, the benevolent relationships of the superior to the inferior create an ideal form of government. Although Confucianism had no rigid code of law, it became the dominant philosophy of the administrative classes. It influenced every aspect of Chinese life, including governmental systems, politics, and the law. During the Han Dynasty (3rd century BCE), Confucianism was employed as an ideological reference point to allow the Han emperors to rule China with a reasonable degree of…show more content…
Daoists advocated natural inaction (wuwei), political abstention, and unbridled social behavior without human interference. They focused on the flow of the nature and opposed man-made institutions and organizations, moral laws, and even governments. Daoism argued that the best way to govern the world is not to govern it, which also brought many criticisms in the matter of practicality and efficiency. Daoists believed that the order and harmony in nature were far more stable, unified and enduring than the power of the state of the civilized institutions, such as government. In the Internal Enterprise, Daode jing, Lao Zi mentioned again that harmony of society would be “naturally completed” and humans should not try to “importune it” or “disturb it. ” However, Confucianism juxtaposed the principle of wuwei and believed in a more active form of government and relatively rigid social control, while Daoism sought to promote the innermost peace of individuals and harmony with the nature

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