Lecture 8: Zhou China
Shang State (1600-1045 BCE)
We are discussing the transition from the Shang State
Think about three things
(1) Historical context for new ideas
(2) New ideas
(3) Later effects of new ideas
Part One: historical context
• Initially a small state on the fringes of the Shang state
• 1045 BCE: King Wu of the Zhou defeats the Shang!!
• The Li gui- bronze vessel that has an inscription on it that recalls how this object came to be If you want to learn more check out What is not learned through experience; fast and involuntary responses?
• The Mandate of Heaven
o Di remains "High God"
o "Mandate of Heaven" (Tian) Ruler is the "Son of Heaven"
• Can be gained or lost
• Refers less to a specific god than the idea of the will of the universe. Cosmic/psychic power
• Mandate= the right to rule
o The Classic of Odes Don't forget about the age old question of What is the meaning of the age of license?
• Collection of songs and poems from the Zhou period
• The idea of the "Mandate of Heaven" is actively used to justify the Zhou takeover
• The Western Zhou (1045-771 BCE)
o Capital at Xianyang
o Seventy small states, but united under Zhou king
o Regional lords, but ideal of unity
• The Eastern Zhou (771-221 BCE)
o 771 BCE: Zhou king killed, dynasty leaves Xianyang
o Seven large territorial states, small states, other groups
o "Spring and Autumn"
o "Warring States"
o A time of states at war
• Keep in mind that both the Western and Eastern Zhou are more of time periods rather than actual locations
• Sunzi: The Art of War
o Reflects the aggressively competitive world of the regional states of the Eastern Zhou We also discuss several other topics like What are the common law felonies?
o Military is a way of deception
o This book describes how to win
• The Classic of Odes
o Reflects the effects of military conscription on the lives of farmers o What happens when you are a farmer and you get drafted for the war? • You are going to lose your crops because there is no one there to tend to the farm Don't forget about the age old question of How does reproductive isolation increase diversity?
• This art reflects the problems that the farmers had about the time of the Eastern Zhou
• Difficult Times, New Ideas
o The "Hundred Schools of Thought"
o Political and philisophical reflections on society and government o Confucianism
o Mohism We also discuss several other topics like How do you calculate dividend payout?
• Confucius, The Analects *PRIMARY SOURCE*
o Who? Confucius (Kong Fuzi): a bureaucrat, scholar, and teacher o When? Confucius lives ca. 551-479 BCE, during the end of the Spring and Autumn period: a time of conflict and near constant warfare o Where? Confucius is born in the state of Lu, but travels between the many small states that exist in the Yellow/Yangzi river basin during this period
o What? The Analects are a compliatoin of sayings attributed to Confucius and records of conversations with students
• Confucian thought We also discuss several other topics like What shifts the aggregate demand curve?
o Looks back to the golden ages of order and stability (the Western Zhou) o Absence of deity who demands certain behaviors: Humans are naturally good
o He basically thinks yeah there are gods but they are irrelevant • Key concepts (KNOW THESE)
o Humaneness= ren or jen
• teachings of Confucinism broadly understood
o Ritual or rites= li
• Elaborate ceremonies
• How you interact with people going through everyday life o **Filiality= xiao
• Respect for parents
• Making your parents happy at all costs
• BEING A GOOD SON OR DAUGHTER
o Mozi or Mo DI (c. 479-438 BCE)
o Utilitarian philosophy: what brings benefit to the people? o E.g. no wars of expansion
o "universal love" : challenging filiality
• Treat other people as your own family even though they are not
o If its not benefitting everybody, cut it
o Han Fei (280-233 BCE)
o Humans are inherently evil, or at least inherently selfish
o No point in trying to encourage good in people; need to restrain the bad o Strict punishments for minor offenses
o The Walking Dead world is a great example of this concept • Daoism
o Artificial action vs. natural non action (wuwei)
o The universe is doing its own thing no matter what we do
o Dao ("The Way) : the impersonal law of the universe… it is the law which governs change, but is itself eternal and unchangeable
o E.g. the ying yang symbol
o Focuses on the opposites coming together to work in perfect unity o NEWTONS THIRD LAW: every action has an opposite and equal reaction. This is perfect in explaining and understanding the concept of Daoism o Zhuangzi and the Turtle
• Daoist story
• The pointlessness of active pursuit of glory, fame, education, ritual, honors
o The Daodejing ** Primary Source**
• Who? When?
▪ "The Book of the Way and Its Power" a collection of sayings attributed to Laozi
• When? Where?
▪ Written ca. 300 BCE, also a product of Eastern Zhou China
*** Be able to recognize the different schools of thought for the exam and match them with their concepts
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