A%20General%20Review - A General Review of The Course...

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A General Review of The Course before JPM
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I. The Big Picture: 1). The ancient Chinese world view--generally life-affirming No creation myth; no belief in a creator of the cosmos The Chinese world view kept people’s attention on life here and now, and made Chinese thinkers responsible for ordaining the forms and patterns of that life. The idea of a self-contained, self-generating, and self-regulating cosmos becomes the most important metaphor in Chinese culture. Self-cultivation becomes an important ideal in the culture. 2). The film The Emperor and the Assassin : a film focusing on the life and career of Ying Zheng who united the various warring states and created the First Empire in Chinese history. “ . . . For the last 500 years . . .”: the backdrop for the philosophers we have studied.
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II. Visions of the Perfect Society and the Perfect Patterns of Life: 1). Kongzi (Confucius): Low opinion of law; emphasis on li or ritual; hopes to turn everyday ordinary human existence into a sacred ceremony, holy ritual. Idea of the junzi , the gentleman, the perfected ethical human being. Self-cultivation involves a social purpose, involves interactions with other people (first with members of one’s family, and then with people in society); society is like an extended family. Self-cultivation is itself a source of joy for the Confucians--a sense of gratification in transforming oneself through ritual and music from an animal-like state to that of a gentleman. Joy in recognizing the good in other people; joy in helping others become good.
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