Comparing and Contrasting Confucianism and Legalism

essay A+

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all the help you need with your essay and educational goals.

Get Access

Confucius one time said. “The more adult male meditates upon good ideas. the better will be his universe and the universe at big. ” Amidst the pandemonium of political instability and changeless warring of the Zhou epoch. many philosophers arose that wedged China in the Fieldss of political relations. faith. and doctrine. Two of these philosophers were Confucius. who lived from 551 to 479 B. C. E. . and Han Feizi. who lived around 233 B. C. E. These two created the Confucianism and Legalism that significantly changed the society is still in usage in modern China.

Confucianism became the dominant manner of thought and the ulterior doctrine of Legalism gained huge acknowledgment every bit good. Each party had their ain proposals for making a better. harmonious society through the leaders. authorities. and single lives of the people. Both attacks were really distinguishable but at the same clip. they contained similarities as good. Confucianism resulted from a Chinese philosopher named Kongfuzi ( 551-479 B. C. E ) . besides known as Confucius. going disheartened with the manner the authorities ignored his thoughts of how to make a merely. harmonious society.

His instructions. which he had passed on to his followers/students. include the Analects. It is within this papers that he tried to learn work forces how to be gentlemen. If a adult male were able to follow the stairss to going a gentleman and finish the responsibilities of his position. that gentleman could act upon others in society to be honest. difficult working. honest. and merely. However. within Confucianism. category and gender was a immense factor. Womans were frequently considered less of import as were lower category peoples. Merely the good off male members of society could have the needed instruction required to be a gentleman.

An illustration of this is: “The Master said. A gentleman who is widely versed in letters and at the same clip knows how to subject his larning the restraints of rite is non likely. I think. to travel far incorrect. ” The Legalism school emphasizes the use of inducements and formal establishments. Under the Legalism. the swayer provides strong inducements to local functionaries which may take to side effects because some activities are noncontractible. The cold-blood image of the Legalism may alien citizens. As for the stipulation of the Legalists’ ideas. there are a few cardinal premises or judgements that we can happen from the texts.

As an independent school of ideas in order to separate itself among all Hundreds of Schools and set aside all past ideals and criterions. the Legalists. foremost of all. believed in the inevitableness of a changeless alteration in society. As noted by Han Fei ( d. 233 B. C. E. ) . “past and present have different customs” ( 101 ) ; at a “critical age” of the helter-skelter Warring States. “to attempt to utilize the ways of a generous and indulgent authorities to govern the people. ” is like seeking to “drive a runaway Equus caballus without utilizing reins or whip” ( 101 ) .

As a public rebelliousness of the yesteryear. this cardinal believe in a changing universe clearly draw the lodger between the Legalists and other schools headed by Confucianism. which was confirmed by Han Fei: “it is obvious that humaneness can non be used to accomplish order in the state” ( 102 ) . It is non clear at this point whether it is rational for the Legalists to reason that Confucianism is of no usage to be applied in the current society. However. we should be able to state. as has been proven throughout the history. that Legalists were rectify on their house believe in change-to-fit.

More significantly. those thoughts had opened up the infinite for the Legalists to use farther reforms. A 3rd implicit in premiss. which is likely the most indispensable in puting the flash-and-burn nature of the Legalists. is an all-too-confident trust in the ruler’s ability and virtuousness every bit good as an about cultic. absolute believe his monarchical power. or in a term that might win favour in forepart of the emperor. divinity – “The sage swayer. by his government of work forces is certain to win their Black Marias ; accordingly he is able to exercise strength.

Strength produces force ; force produces prestigiousness ; prestige produces virtuousness. Virtue has its beginning in strength. The sage swayer entirely possesses it. and hence he is able to convey humaneness and rightness to all-under-heaven…” ( Shang 259 ) . However. I believe this is non rather briefly what the Legalists hold a steadfast believe in ; such rhetoric might merely stand for the thought from an angle that the swayer could accept at easiness.

Bing a political establishment and a critical portion of the government. the Legalists have concerns for themselves and may therefore seek personal and power promotion every bit good in their helping the province. With such a idea. the 3rd premiss can be better stated as: all persons. governments and authorities setup will ne’er run into involvement struggles with. and will ever shack under. the centralised disposal headed by a bantam minority of people who have the ultimate domination and power.

Noteworthily. such a stipulation has an immediate agreement with the societal demand at that clip as mentioned earlier. in which a rational authorities can afford greater centralised power so as to beef up a province against its rival provinces. It besides represents a important function in doing possible Qin’s subsequently bid and conquerings every bit good as a suicidal consequence over the internal authorities construction.

Get instant access to
all materials

Become a Member
unlock