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Confucius and Zhuangzi Issues - Essay Example

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The author of the essay "Confucius and Zhuangzi Issues" points out that Kong Fu-Zi, the great Chinese thinker and master of philosophical thought, known to the world as Confucius, by the Latinized version of his name, gave to the world invaluable treatises on conduct, individual morality, etc. …
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Download file to see previous pages The Confucian school of thought in the 5th century B.C. laid the groundwork for the codification and compression of the various strands of Chinese thought into a coherent and accessible whole. Confucius also paved the way for the proper codification of the culture prevalent during his time. The Ethics taught by Confucius is considered by many as a kind of virtue ethics, where the behavior of people is procured by witnessing living examples instead of just following rules that teach behavior.
Confucius was born in 521 B.C. into an aristocratic family of a lower order of impoverished knights. He lived during the second half of the Zhou dynasty (1027-256 B.C.) a period of constant civil strife, when feudalism had broken down, and there was a breakdown of government machinery and moral standards had become lax. Confucius was determined to remedy the situation and believed that the only way of doing it, was to go back to the days of antiquity and follow the principles and precepts set out by the wise men of the time. Armed with this determination and backed by the knowledge of the wise of yore, Confucius set up a school.

Confucius’ philosophy was centered on humanism and he stressed upon the free will of individuals. Zhuangzi, also known as Chuang Tzu, is another great Chinese thinker whose writing has a more philosophical tone, albeit it also stresses what Confucius taught. Both thinkers laid great emphasis on the idea of Dao and De. Dao is the monistic theory that is responsible for the spontaneity that is found in all phenomena, while De or the “Inner Power” is the manifestation of these phenomena. It is the inherent power in an individual that can be built by practice and lead to a better life.

As humans engage in cultivating their inner selves, it creates a ripple effect, and soon the results of the enlightened human being felt by the social and political system. Thomas Berry says that the experiences of “feeling communion with the real, they set themselves on perfecting humans themselves.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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