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Unformatted text preview: The Great Revolutions in Thought and Religion in the Axial Age World History Mr. Bsharah Questions to Consider: 1. Is your outlook on life closer to Confucianism, Daoism, or Is Legalism? What specifically makes you favor one over the others? Legalism? 2. Which fundamental assumptions about the world, the individual, Which and reality do the Jain, Hindu, and Buddhist traditions share? How do these assumptions compare with those that underlie Chinese philosophy, Jewish religious thought, and Greek philosophy? philosophy, 3. How did the monotheism of the Hebrews differ from that of How Egypt’s Akhenaten? To what extent did their faith bind the Jews politically? Why was the concept of monotheism so radical for Near Eastern civilization? Eastern 4. In what ways did the ideas of the Greeks differ from those of In other ancient peoples? How do Aristotle’s political and ethical ideas compare with those of Confucius? What were Socrates’ contributions to the development of philosophy? to The Structures of the Axial Age: Occurred in or near original river valley societies Each was born of a crisis in the ancient world Subsequent breakthroughs and traditions tended to Subsequent occur within original traditions occur Absorb new energy and continue to evolve Spread of cultures derived from these original Spread heartlands to ever wider spheres heartlands Once a cultural pattern was set it usually endured The Structures of the Axial Age: There were professional intellectuals who sold There their services as teachers their Most sages fit into networks (schools, Most competition, master-teacher relationships) competition, Some were considered prophets or holy men Many were charismatic leaders with visions to Many share and if possible impose on their peoples share Philosophy in China Disintegration of old Chou society Chinese revolution most similar to Greek “One hundred schools” Chinese thought sociopolitical and practical Greater staying power than Greek thought Chinese philosophy had religious dimension Two spheres are not separate Man stands between heaven and earth Harmonizes cosmos by his actions Other Schools of Thought Rhetoricians Taught art of persuasion in diplomatic Taught negotiations negotiations Use of historical anecdotes Logicians Taught logic and relativity Strategists Military Science Sun-tzu, The Art of War Sun-tzu, The Other Schools of Thought (cont). Cosmologists Described functions of cosmos Complementary forces of nature Yin – negative Yang - positive Mohists Mo-tzu 470-391 B.C.E. Ethic of universal love Preached discipline and austerity Argued for a strong state; secular philosophy Confucius 551-479 B.C.E. Latinized form of K’ung Fu-tzu Probably belonged to lower nobility Made his living by teaching Analects Saw himself as a transmitter and conservator of Saw tradition tradition Loyalty to God, state, and family Importance of ethics and right conduct Confucian Sayings “You do not understand even life. How can you You understand death?” understand “You are not able even to serve man. How can You you serve the spirits?” you “Let the ruler be a ruler, the subject a subject, the Let father a father, the son a son.” father “Just desire the good yourself and the common Just people will be good.” people “I have no hopes of meeting a sage. I would be have content if I met someone who is a gentleman.” content Mencius 370-290 B.C.E. Idealistic supporter of Confucian doctrine Human nature was inherently good Goal of education was to cultivate that innate Goal goodness goodness Heaven has a moral will Heaven wants government to see to the Heaven education and well-being of the people education Idea that government ought to care for the Idea people was permanent part of Confucian tradition tradition Han Feizi 300-237 B.C.E. Tough-minded extension of Confucianism Heaven was amoral The only good was the good of the state Human nature was bad Desires and emotions led to social conflict Education as restraint on human nature Strong government to suppress human nature Legalism: law and order more important than tyranny or injustice Laws Should be severe and impartial Contain incentives For loyalty and bravery in battle For obedience and frugality in everyday life Daoism Classics of Daoist thought Laozi (Lao-tzu) 4th century B.C.E. The Tao or Way Creator and sustainer or universe Return to original simplicity; quest for immorality Learn to do without desires Wu wei or “not doing”: detachment from world Too much government, even good government, Too can become oppressive can Religion in India Indian culture and tradition include more than the Indian word Hindu commonly implies today word Evolution of Indian religious thought Later Vedic texts reflect a reaction against Excessive emphasis on sacrifice and ritual Accumulation of worldly wealth and power Hope for an afterlife in a paradise Maturation in Upanishads Maturation Upanishads The Upanishads Aryan rituals and sacrifices lost meaning Upanishads 800-500 B.C.E. Spiritual treatises Reflected maturation of Hindu thought Two new emphases with Upanishads Knowledge over ritual Quest for ultimate truth Knowledge is ultimate source of power Immortality in escape from existence Nature of Reality in Hinduism Relationship between Atman and Brahman Atman – individual self Brahman – ultimate reality Atman-Brahman is reality Physical world is impermanent Samsara Transmigration Endless rebirth is burdensome and terrifying Goal is release from existence Karma and Dharma Karma “Work” or “action” Good deeds bring good results Ordinary norm Extraordinary norm - moksha Dharma “Duty” or “moral law” Cosmic order Individual moral responsibility Better life in next round of existence Social Responsibility Dharma as ideal Implications Action in the world of samsara as necessary Acceptance of responsibilities of one’s sex, Acceptance class and caste group, stage in life class Allows for legitimate self-interest Rebirth in paradise is highest goal attainable All achievements in world are subject to change Ascetic Discipline Moksha as ideal Abandoning the world – implications Any action, good or bad, is counterproductive Nonaction is achieved only by withdrawl Sannyasi – “renouncer” Renunciation demands absence of ego Highest goal is liberation from all rebirth This moksha (liberation) is permanent Jainism Mahavira 540-468 B.C.E. Seen as human teacher Way to free soul from karmic restraints All souls in endless Samsara Focus on eliminating evil thoughts and acts Extreme self-denial Sanctity of life Nonviolence (ahimsa) Buddhism Siddharta Gautama 566-486 B.C.E. Legend of Four Signs Enlightenment: meditation Middle Path Between asceticism and indulgence Nirvana Release from karmic restraints Four Noble Truths Buddha’s Four Noble Truths All life is dukkha or “suffering” The source of suffering is desire Cessation of desire is end of suffering Noble Eight-fold Path Right Understanding, Right Thought, Right Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration Effort, Cardinal virtue is compassion for all beings Judiasm
Polytheism norm in ancient world Hebrews - ethical monotheism Hebrew Bible as historical document Monotheism Trials of Faith Punishment for sin Covenant with God Abraham Abraham – Abraham symbolic founder of monotheism Jews, Christians and Muslims Probably just viewed his Lord as his chosen deity Among the many divinities worshipped Covenant Abraham promised to serve only God God promised to guide Hebrews as chosen God people people Moses Difficult to determine how much the Mosaic Difficult covenant at Sinai marked monotheism covenant Notion of the supremacy of Yahweh Hebrews at Sinai received both God’s holy Law – the Torah Promise of protection and guidance as long as Promise they kept the Law they Pivotal moment Monotheistic Revolution Monotheistic revolution can be tied historically to Monotheistic division of Israel in 922 B.C.E. division Rise of prophets Significance of history in the divine plan Israel’s troubles as punishment from God Nature of Yahweh Transcendent ideal of justice and goodness Moral god who demanded goodness Religious Texts Other element in monotheistic revolution was the Other Law itself Law Torah – (Pentateuch) Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Genesis, Deuteronomy Deuteronomy Compilation in 2nd century B.C.E. Bibloi – “books” Not only the Law, but a record of the Jews’ Not journey to the recognition of the Law journey Early Greek Thinkers In some ways, like their gods, the Greeks were In similar to earlier Mesopotamians similar In other ways - radically different Pre-Socratics - Asia-Minor Raised questions about nature that brought Raised about an intellectual revolution about Speculated about nature of the world Guesses that were completely naturalistic No references to supernatural powers Reason and Scientific Spirit Thales - 624-545 B.C.E. Rational, natural explanations for phenomena Water as primary substance Anaximander - ca. 611-546 B.C.E. “Unlimited” - basic element Humans originated in water - evolved Heraclitus - 6th century B.C.E. “All is motion” Logos - guiding principle Reason - cont. Leucippus and Democritus World consists of tiny, solid particles - atoms Anaxagoras - 500-428 B.C.E. Particles - seeds, put together by mind Distinction between matter and mind Sophists - 5th century B.C.E. Received pay for teaching Claimed to teach reason and virtue Reasoned analysis to human beliefs, institutions Socrates - 469-399 B.C.E. Committed to search for truth Knowledge about human affairs Contempt for democracy Primacy of his own individualism Pursued philosophy Even against wishes of his fellow citizens Seek “the greatest improvement of the soul” Significance of his trial Chose truth over life Cynics Developed Socrates’ philosophy But also distorted it Diogenes of Sinope - ca. 400-ca. 325 Socrates disparaged wealth Diogenes wore rags and lived in a tub Happiness lay in satisfying natural needs in the Happiness simplest and most direct way simplest Ridiculed all religious observances Wisdom from pursuing a proper style of life Plato - 429-347 B.C.E. Student of Socrates First systematic philosopher Founded the Academy Believed in polis and its values Virtues - order, harmony, justice Episteme - a body of true and unchanging wisdom Philosopher-king Subordination of individual to the community Knowledge of the good Aristotle - 384-322 B.C.E. Student of Plato In turn tutored Alexander the Great Founded the Lyceum Gathering, ordering and analyzing all human Gathering, knowledge knowledge Constitution of the Athenians Wide-ranging interests Logic, physics, astronomy, biology, ethics, Logic, rhetoric, literary criticism, politics rhetoric, ...
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