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Bloobedy

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Bloobedy

1. You are a ruler of a small state in late Zhou/Chou China interviewing traveling scholars for the post of chief advisor. Your most recent applicant was a disciple of the school of Confucius and Mencius. To help you decide whether to give him a post in your government, discuss what elements in his teachings appeal to you as political ideology; which appeal to you as social teachings appropriate to inculcate in the people. Finally, what elements in the Confucian's teachings would you, as a ruler, be inclined to ignore or modify?

2. On what common ground did the philosophers of the late Zhou period stand? That is, what in general did Confucianism, Legalism, Daoism, and Mohism have in common? On what points did they differ? You may wish to consider broad issues of human nature; the nature of the world/cosmos; the question of how to achieve the just and well-ordered society; and the like. In what sense were they all engaged in a common conversation?

3. Discuss the role of study (xue/hsьeh: education) and rites (li: ceremony, propriety, rituals, norms of conduct) in self-cultivation and in the establishment of a peaceful and well-ordered society in the thought of Mencius and Xunzi/Hsun-tzu. What assumptions do they share? Where do they differ? Are their ultimate goals the same or different?

4. In what respects did early Daoism share assumptions and pre-dispositions congenial to Legalist thought?

5. Both the Laozi text (Daode jing/Tao-te ching) and the Mozi (Mo-tzu) criticize the Confucian emphasis on ceremony and music, as well as their “bookishness.” Compare and contrast these two critiques of the Confucians. Do they arise from the same or different assumptions? Do the Laozi and the Mozi share a vision of the way society ought to be and the nature of rulership, or are their visions different,

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