• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Philosophy and Ethics: A look at Confucianism and Taoism and their Affects on the Ethics and culture of the Eastern World.

Extracts from this document...


Nicole Ellen Colraine Civ 10 - 10/19/2000 Professor Weidey -- 9:00AM T, Th Philosophy and Ethics: A look at Confucianism and Taoism and their Affects on the Ethics and culture of the Eastern World Two great philosophical school of thought, Taoism and Confucianism manifested in the 6th Century BC in ancient China. The third significant school of thought, Buddhism, was introduced by India and manifested in Chinese culture around 2 AD. Confucianism is greatly concerned with social relations, conduct, and human society. Taoism, on the other hand is much more individualistic and mystical character and is dramatically affected by nature. Together, these three faiths have shaped and molded Chinese life and thought for the past twenty-five hundred years. Whatever the truth, Taoism and Confucianism are two distinct responses to the social, political and philosophical conditions of life Out of all the pre-Confucian philosophers, Lao-Tzu was indeed the greatest. Lao-Tzu lived in the 6th century BC. He composed a book known as the Tao-Te Ching, which is the foundation of Taoism. Tao-te-ching, in English, translates into 'the way and it's power". "The Way" is to lead a modest life using the elements of silence and nature. ...read more.


After his death in 479 BC, his ideas slowly won acceptance and eventually became the official philosophy of China. Confucius was interested in ways to organize a good society. To him, a good society was one which preserved peace and order amongst the individuals and between government and the people. As a result, Confucianism emerged and offered up a code for individuals to follow in their social and political relationships. Confucius's followers kept his thoughts and teachings into a book called the Analects. Confucian code of conduct stressed virtues such as loyalty, courtesy, hard work and kindness. If people practiced these virtues every moment of their life, Confucius believed social harmony to be the result. Confucius constructed five basic relationships defining everyone's place in society including the relationships between: ruler and subject, parent and child, husband and wife, older brother and younger brother, and friend and friend. The five relationships determine how society should be organized. In each relationship, each individual has responsibilities, or duties towards the other. Confucius reasoned that if everyone obeyed his or her duty, an orderly balanced society was the result. One example is a ruler has a responsibility to govern and provide a good government for his inhabitants. ...read more.


Thus, Taoism and Confucianism is not as controlled as Aristotelian ethics. Moreover, Taoism and Confucianism embrace time as being cyclical while the western world hold time to be of a linear nature. Although Confucianism and Taoism were established almost 25 centuries ago, they are still relevant and continue to influence modern society. Both schools of thought together are the guiding light in almost every aspect of Chinese life. A modern view of Taoism is portrayed by Hollywould through such pop culture movies as The Phantom Menace and Star Wars -- the "force" in both movies is an excellent example of modern Taoism. Even though they are differ in their practice, the underlying foundation of Taoism and Confucianism are the same. That is, the purpose of both schools of thought is to instill morality into an individual and to help one to find the path to the "good life." Through studies of Taoism and Confucianism, the East and West, both searching for a dialogue for tomorrow's world, can learn from, and help each other. The understanding of the two eastern philosophies by the west will assist in the formation of a better, more objective world -- not though conflagration, but rather through mutual cooperation in achieving peace for the future. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Practical Questions section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Practical Questions essays

  1. The key difference between someone using counselling skills and a qualified and trained counsellor ...

    or in car park areas. The Risk Assessment also must address issues such potential threats and outcomes of a violent attack and what can be done to minimise this from occurring and should it occur what methods there are of alerting others for help. Additional personal training in conflict management and anger management may be

  2. In this essay I will be looking at Ethics and the importance of using ...

    Mearns and Thorne describe Empathy as "Empathy is a continuing process whereby the counsellor lays aside her own way of experiencing and perceiving reality, preferring to sense and respond to the experiences and perceptions of the client" (Mearns and Thorne 2001:41)

  1. history of philosophy and ethics

    Its greatest figures are Socrates (fifth century BC) and Plato and Aristotle (fourth century BC). But the enormously diverse range of further important thinkers who populated the period includes the Presocratics and Sophists of the sixth and fifth centuries BC; the Stoics, Epicureans and skeptics of the Hellenistic age; and the many Aristotelian and Platonist philosophers who wrote under the Roman Empire, including the great Neo-Platonist Plotinus.

  2. meta ethics

    Emotivism which states that when we make moral statements such as 'being kind is good', we are not talking about facts that can be known, we are infact just expressing emotions or feeling about the situation .Facts are either observable or logically necessary; moral statements are neither.

  1. Situation Ethics

    Sometimes we must look at what the consequences of an action is before we decide on what to do. Bernard Hoose supported this concept and although we do not judge an action through the hedonic calculus, the action is almost incomparable to the consequences.

  2. Virtue ethics is of little use when dealing with practical ethics Discuss.

    not always have a view about what makes an act right or wrong. Therefore I would argue virtue ethics is of little use when dealing with practical ethics. Rosalind Hursthouse believes in Aristotelian framework for her virtue ethics, even though she does not agree with all of Aristotle's conclusions.

  1. Business Ethics

    (Business ethics, Andrew Crane and Dirk Matten, 2007, Oxford, pg 9-11) Ones of the case study show in business ethics is McDonalds. McDonald's fast food chain was very close to winning the Business Ethics award for environmental excellence in 1999.

  2. Does the "War on Terror" mean the just war doctrine is dead?

    In many cases of civilian deaths the United States have stated that they abided by the doctrine of double effect because the military targets were proportional to the civilian deaths, and other times they have stated the ?responsibility for every casualty? belongs to the Taliban or al Qaeda because they hide within the civilian population.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work