Chinese Schools of Thought


Confucius was the philosopher of Confucianism. This philosophy was practiced by the Han Dynasty. Confucianism was based off of leading by example. The ruler should rule wisely and know that education was really important. There were 5 relationships that were thought to be needed for Confucianism; father to son, elder brother to younger brother, husband to wife, ruler to subject, and friend to friend. People were taught to respect their elders which is also known as filial piety. When Confucius died, his thoughts were put in a book called The Analects.“Do not do to others what you do not wish yourself.”


Hanfeizi was the philosopher of Legalism. This philosophy was practiced by the Qin Dynasty. Legalism was based off of strict laws and harsh government. Hanfeizi believed that a strong government detered violence. Using legalism, rulers forced people to work on government projects such as the Great Wall of China. Legalists believed that strength was a ruler's greatest virtue. Legalism didn't last very long because people rebelled and took over. "The nature of man is evil, his goodness is acquired."


Laozi was the philosopher of Taoism. Taoism was based off of people having more power and making their own decisions. Loazi didn't worry about everyday problems because he was focused on Dao, or "the way" of the universe. Daoists believed government was unnatural and that government was the cause of problems in communities. To achieve happiness, one had to practice Dao, live a simple life, and live in harmony with nature.'The best ruler is one who governed the least."
What is Taoism? Aspects [HD]

Buddhism in China

Buddhism was brought to China from India by missionaries and traders along the Silk Road. The Silk Road went from China to Europe.