The Philosophers of the Warring States
- Three competing belief systems (Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism) came to prominence during the Warring States period of Chinese history.
- Confucianism is an ethic of moral uprightness, social order, and filial responsibility.
- Daoism was a philosophy of universal harmony that urged its practitioners not to get too involved in worldly affairs.
- Legalism is a theory of autocratic, centralized rule and harsh penalties.
- These three philosophies influenced early Chinese empires; some even became official state ideologies.
The Master said: When the father is alive, observe the son’s intent. When the father dies, observe the son’s conduct. One who does not alter his late father’s [way] for three years may be called filial.
The Master said: Guide them with policies and align them with punishments and the people will evade them and have no shame. Guide them with virtue and align them with li [ritualized etiquette and ceremonies] and the people will have a sense of shame and fulfill their roles.
The one who knows [the Dao] does not speak; the one who speaks does not know. The wise man shuts his mouth and closes his gates.