Pre-Confucian Thought and Mencius

Pre-Confucian Thought and Mencius - Lecture Notes Tuesday,...

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Lecture Notes Tuesday, January 18, 2011 Chinese History - The North was inhabited by protosapiens - 6000 years ago - Fixed agriculture - stayed in one place - sense of permanence Village called “Yang Shao” - Northern China - Raised mullet was the staple grain - Domesticated dogs - Wove cloth with silk and cloth - Bones, antlers, and stones - Buried dead respectfully - Believed in an afterlife - Engaged in fertility rights Village called “Long Shan” - Eastern China - Produced black pottery - Domesticated cattle, sheep, cows and pigs - More class differentiation - Engaged in occupation specialization - Worshipped ancestors - Defined gods and spirits with oracle bones and shells - First records of written language for Chinese Language - Manufactured silk - Capable of making bronze - Traditional dating of Chinese history has dynasties (cannot be verified by archeology) - Each dynasty had rulers: - China’s first two rulers had names that were mixture of god and human; the rest of the rulers had names that were purely human - Personalized all of the city’s advancements to a particular ruler Developments in Society Attributed with Rulers/Gods - A good ruler confers favors on their subjects - One of the first gifts from the gods was fire - Demigod - “Fu Xi” - “Ox Tamer” - taught the Chinese how to domesticate wild animals for food and service - introduced family life of fishing, nets, spears - Demigod - “Shen Nong” - “Divine Farmer” - taught the Chinese how to cultivate crops - also introduced markets so they can trade goods - plow and hoe was invented - 1st human ruler - “Huang di” - “Yellow Emperor” - Northern China - Yellow Rivers name originates from the fertile yellow soil - taught the Chinese how to build houses - first national leader of Chinese - acted as a unifying figure for all parts of China - how to make and weave silk cloth - how to make boats and carts - bow and arrow - ceramics - invention of the Chinese writing system - Another human ruler - “Yao” - inventing calender based on the movement on the sun, planets, and stars
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- achieve moral cultivation through ritual and musical practices - rules over a centralized government - not satisfied with the moral character of his own sons - Yao believed moral character was much more important than genetics - Yao did not make his sons his successors and cast someone with greater moral qualifications as the successive ruler - Yao came from a dis-functional family - Yao heard about Shun - saw his potential in moral character - Shun was married to one of Yao’s daughters and became his successor - A man named “Shun” - devotion towards parents - filial piety - he was able to harmonize relationships in a family - showed exceptional moral character - also passed over his sons to choose another person as successor - A man named “Yu” - able to control floods through his irrigation systems - benefited from agriculture - advisers pressured Yu into choosing a son to be successor - began the dynasty system - first dynasty: Xia dynasty - “Great Dynasty”
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This note was uploaded on 02/17/2011 for the course EALC 110g taught by Professor Hayden during the Spring '07 term at USC.

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Pre-Confucian Thought and Mencius - Lecture Notes Tuesday,...

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