Chinese Schools of Thought

By Tyler Joyce


Confucianism is following of the teachings of the chinese philosopher Confucius. He believed in the "five relationships" and leading by example. The five relationships were  father to son, elder brother to younger, husband to wife, ruler to subject, and friend to friend. He also firmly believed in filial piety, which is that thought that the child must obey and respect their parents. Confucianism was the main beleif of the Han dynasty.


Legalism is the belief that strict rules and harsh punishments are the only way to control an empire effectively. This was mainly used in the Qin dynasty. In legalism, it is thought that the nature of man is evil and rules should be put in place to stop the evil. The Qin dynasty used the strict rules to create government projects.


Taoism was founded by the philosopher Laozi. Their beliefs were centered around following nature's example. Laozi thought that the best ruler was the one who governed the least. Taoism beliefs tell that if you need to live in harmony with nature, practice magic, and live a simple life to achieve happiness. Living in perfect balance with nature is the goal.


Buddhism is a philosophy from the the teachings of Siddhartha Guatama who became Buddha or "enlightened one." Buddhism follows the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold path. By following the Eightfold Path and the Four Noble Truths then you are able to achieve nirvana.