Statue of Confucius at the entrance of the Confucius Temple in Beijing. Photo by Mr. Hall.
Kudos from last class:
Unit I “Finding a Path” (printable version)
Our first unit together will be framed by the philosophical significance of China’s “Axial Age,” stretching roughly from the birth of Confucius in 551 BCE to the rise of the Qin Empire in 221 BCE. Together we will examine key figures in the early Confucian, Mohist, and Daoist traditions. In each case we will be combining historical context with philosophical texts.
Characters (in order of discussion): Confucius, Mengzi, Xunzi, Mozi, Laozi, and Zhuangzi.
At the end of our unit, you will be asked to write a short essay (2-3 pages) that draws upon two thinkers to analyze an important institution in a community or nation of which you have been a part. Your response should:
What did Confucius believe?
North China Plain during the late Spring and Autumn period (5th century BCE). Source: Wikimedia.
Confucius and his world
Homework: Assignment #102