180F07-6 - • Minimize wants, live simply • Don’t be...

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Taoism
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Class Objectives Understand basic ideas of Taoism Chuang Tzu’s theory of human nature and political philosophy Contrasts with other Chinese political thinkers
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Chuang Tzu and Taoism Chuang Tzu (369-286 BCE), contemporary of Mencius Lao Tzu (sixth century BCE) -- Tao-te- ching Comprehensive world view harmony with nature harmony of yin and yang
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Chuang Tzu on human nature Human nature is neither good nor evil benevolent self-interest Human nature cannot successfully be guided by social institutions Natural inequalities exist but do not imply moral inequalities
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Chuang Tzu’s political philosophy Not-ruling is the only way to rule Individuals should/do care only for themselves Rules and laws are not helpful No government, or non-government, is legitimate
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“The Normal Course for Rulers and Kings” The best ruling is not-ruling
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Unformatted text preview: • Minimize wants, live simply • Don’t be concerned with the outside world “Letting Be, and Exercising Forbearance” • Letting be - metaphor for not engaging with the world • Ruling is impossible • Futility of teaching virtue • Egocentric philosophy • Anti-materialism Contrasts with Confucianism, Mohism, Legalism • Taoism recommends no government, other three argue some gov’t is legitimate • Taoism is cynical of tradition, like Mo Tzu, but unlike Confucians • Taoism is cynical of power of government to affect things unlike other traditions Chinese Ancient Political Thought -- Summary • Importance of tradition • Importance of Confucianism • Tendency to Authoritarianism • Disagreement about theories of human nature • No concern for consent...
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This note was uploaded on 05/05/2008 for the course PHIL 180 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '07 term at Kansas.

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180F07-6 - • Minimize wants, live simply • Don’t be...

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