Debrief from yesterday’s debate: “Looking back from the twenty-first century, did Qin Shihuangdi help make China great again?”
Points in favor
World of the Han: Context:
Summarizing in Digital Notebook
“Pop quiz” review. Is the following statement likely to be true of a Legalist approach to rules at Hotchkiss? (Mark true or false):
Debate: “Looking back from the twenty-first century, did Qin Shihuangdi help make China great again?”
You can see from the Axial Age in Chinese History timeline (PDF) that Shang Yang was born before Zhuangzi and died during his lifetime. Han Feizi was born six years after Zhuangzi’s death.
This was the latter half of the Warring States period (475-221 BCE):
In this conflict it was the northwestern state of Qin that rose to dominate the North China Plain:
One other note and question: This is the first (but not last) time we will encounter lurid details amid a highly-personal account of how power works. To what extent does this framing of history make sense to you? To what extent does it seem to fall short of giving us the full picture?
The Hotchkiss Law Code
Examples from Qin law code:
Reflect on Unit I essay:
Goals for Unit II: “Making China Great Again”
Field trip to the third century BCE
Complete Unit I Assessment Planning survey (Google Forms)
Guided research (with a partner):
Discussion of key ideas (small groups and then bring together):
Unit I assessment (together):
Discussion on chapter organization and strategies (together)
A stream flowing through Potatso National Park (普達措國家公園), the first national park in China to meet International Union for Conservation of Nature standards (Photo by Mr. Hall)
Our structure today will be as simple and flowing as possible—perhaps in the spirit of our texts?
We will use an example from Mengzi as a way to review our last two discussions.
"Mozi Saves the Song"《墨子救宋》, a graphic novel (lianhuanhua 連環畫) originally published in 1951 by the Chaohua Fine Arts Publishing House and reissued in 2005 by the People's Fine Arts Publishing House.
Life of Mozi:
Times of Mozi:
Consider in small groups:
Exploration of key themes:
Mengzi's Three Moves. Anonymous drawing, China, 20th century. Photo by AKG Images
Last class we delved into Confucius from the perspective of equality. We found evidence from both sides:
With the following list of cards from last class in mind, are there other topics that you think we ought to pause on before we move on? Here were the cards:
Mengzi vs. Xunzi
Start by asking for basic clarifications on the text
Divide into two groups
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