Essay on The Daoism and the Confucianism in Han Dynasty

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The Daoism and the Confucianism in Han Dynasty Yang Yu History 135: Imperial Chinese History Professor: Robert J. Culp Paper I March 4th, 2011 The Daoism and the Confucianism in Han Dynasty As the dominant philosophical school for around two thousand years in Chinese imperial history, Confucianism is always regarded as the most representative ideology of China, associated with numerous books, poems, artworks and stories that glorify Confucianism’s permeation into every corner of Chinese society. However, before Han Wudi, Confucianism was only one of those competing philosophical schools founded in Spring and Autumn period. During the Warring States period and Qin dynasty, Legalism took place of all other philosophical schools…show more content…
However, it is always easy to start the process of centralization but difficult to maintain the state of centralization. Faced with this knotty problem, Wudi adopted Confucianism, which underlined “the moral basis of superior-subordinate relations, appreciating that in the long run the ruler would achieve his goals more easily and economically when his subordinates viewed their relationship with the ruler in moral terms of loyalty and responsibility” (65). In fact, Han’s Confucianism is not the same as the Confucianism during the period of the Spring and Autumn or Warring States. It is a special status of Confucianism. As Ebrey writes in his book, “Han Confucianism itself was eclectic, fortifying itself with precepts and philosophical concerns drawn from what had been competing philosophical schools in the pre-Qin period” (77). Different from the traditional Confucianism, Han’s Confucianism assimilated thoughts from Legalism, Daoism and other schools, such as Moism’s thought of universal love (兼爱) and yin and yang school’s thought of five phases (阴阳五行论). “Han Confucians sought ways to comprehend the world around them as a self-generating and self-sustaining organism governed by cyclical yet never replicating flows of yin and yang and the five phases (fire, water, earth, metal, and wood)” (78). Han Confucians thought that if one of these phases was disturbed, the whole system would

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