Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism

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Amidst the chaos of political instability and constant warring of the Zhou era, arose many intellectual thinkers that brought such a profound impact in the fields of politics, religion, and philosophy. Even to this day, their influence can be seen on the many matters of China. Confucianism became the paramount school of thinking and later significant philosophies such as Daoism and Legalism gained immense recognition as well. Each party had their own proposals for creating an idealistic political society where the many problems they faced in their everyday lives could be eliminated. All three approaches were very distinct but at the same time, they contained similarities as well. In my reasoning, I find that Confucianism and Daoism could be paralled in many ways to find several common grounds. On the other hand, Legalism goes on to take a more unique approach which was much different from the previous two. Confucius was born in 551 B.C.E, to a poor family of the lower nobility. Throughout his life, he relentlessly tried to gain an office with a prominent ruler of the time who was willing to adopt his various concepts. Unfortunately, Confucius died in 479B.C.E., before such a change ever took place. However, he succeeded in winning over a handful of devote followers who continued his legacy and Confucianism later went on to become one of the most influential thought systems of Chinese history. Of his followers, Mencius and Xunzi became one of the most renown. Since Confucius did not succeed in completing a manual of his views, these followers had to derive their own interpretations of the system, which now formulate, the Analects. The Analects portray an idealized gentleman, and his various duties in terms of the society, family and rituals. Confucius explains about the way (Dao) which he believed, that if the people accepted it's terms and were willing to abide, they would succeed in creating a utopian society.

By the beginning of the Common Era,...
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