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Unformatted text preview: 2. The Confucians I. Pre-Confucian Thought • Chinese culture o Evidence of green cultivation, grains, raise stock (sheep and goats) o Sense of afterlife (believe in spirits, revere their ancestors; evidence of Chinese sacrificing to ancestors) o Used metal rather than just stone (from stone age to bronze age) o Used utensils, tools, etc. • Developed sense that their culture was superior to others o World’s most efficient agriculture in that day • Dynasties o Xia Possibly china’s oldest dynasty Haven’t found archaeological evidence of anything older than Xia related to China o Shang Yin Oracle bones Appearance of writing Horses and chariots Advanced technology in bronze o Zhou [1122-256 BC] Longest lasting dynasty • Ancient Chinese Humanism o Emphasis on human accomplishments (as opposed to “God,” “heaven,” etc.) o Gave credit to ancestors for accomplishments of civilization- gave sacrifices to the great people of the past for their contributions [heaven etc. are there to help us if we take advantage of the opportunities they provide us] • Ancient Chinese religions o Shang Di [High God]; also had many other gods and sacrificed to their ancestors o Consulted spirits through oracle bone divination; didn’t trust “blind luck” o Heaven became its own entity that had its own conscience and feelings and rewards/punishes people based on actions/crimes • Chinese Legendary History (personalization of contributions; 3 rulers have credit for most important contributions) o Fu Xi (“ox tamer”) Contribution to Chinese civilization: taught Chinese how to domesticate wild animals (speculated to be early in 3 rd millennium BC); also how to hunt, fish (but did NOT teach them how to write) Did it on his own through human initiative (not divine revelation) o Shen Nong (“divine farmer”) Invented tools of agriculture (or agriculture itself); invented plow and hoe and market for farmers to exchange produce o Huang Di (“yellow emperor”) Taught people how to live in wooden houses instead of caves, how to use bow and arrow, make ceramics, single-handedly invented Chinese writing system First national leader of the Chinese Wife taught people how to raise silkworms and make silk cloth • Rulers who did not establish their own Dynasties o Yao Calendar based on moon and sun; sort out duties (esp. agriculture) Moral cultivation through music First centralized government Developed idea that government should be conducted by the most virtuous rather than direct descendents (passed over his own sons because they were not virtuous enough) o Shun Dysfunctional family, murderous stepbrother; but he harmonized relations in that family so got reputation for filial piety and virtue King married him to his daughters to test his virtue; Yao passed his rule on to Shun Also passed his rule to non-immediate family: Yu (hydraulic engineer who built canals, draining systems, etc. to benefit Chinese agriculture)built canals, draining systems, etc....
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2012 for the course EALC 110 taught by Professor Hayden during the Fall '10 term at University of Southern Maine.
- Fall '10