Comparing and Contrasting Confucianism and Legalism

913 WordsSep 3, 20134 Pages
Andrew Simedru Ms. Komar AP World History September 3, 2013 Comparing and Contrasting Confucianism and Legalism Confucius once said, “The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.” Amidst the chaos of political instability and constant warring of the Zhou era, many philosophers arose that impacted China in the fields of politics, religion, and philosophy. Two of these philosophers were Confucius, who lived from 551 to 479 B.C.E., and Han Feizi, who lived around 233 B.C.E. These two created the Confucianism and Legalism that significantly changed the society is still in use in modern China. Confucianism became the dominant way of thinking and the later philosophy of Legalism…show more content…
Strength produces force; force produces prestige; prestige produces virtue. Virtue has its origin in strength. The sage ruler alone possesses it, and therefore he is able to transmit humaneness and rightness to all-under-heaven…” (Shang 259). However, I believe this is not quite concisely what the Legalists hold a firm believe in; such rhetoric might only represent the idea from an angle that the ruler could accept at ease. Being a political institution and a critical part of the regime, the Legalists have concerns for themselves and may therefore seek personal and power advancement as well in their assisting the state. With such a thought, the third premise can be better stated as: all individuals, authorities and government apparatus will never run into interest conflicts with, and will always reside under, the centralized administration headed by a tiny minority of people who have the ultimate supremacy and power. Noteworthily, such a precondition has an immediate accord with the social need at that time as mentioned earlier, in which a rational

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