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EAS100Y1 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Wang Bi, Taoism, Wu Wei

East Asian Studies
Course Code
Vincent Shen
Study Guide

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Confucius (Classical Confucianism)
- filial piety: a junzi (superior man) works on the beginning/root (filial piety and brotherly love ), and this allows
the Way to rise.
o reciprocity of love as the internal reason for filial piety (eg. mourn parents for three years)
o social function as the external reason for filial piety (eg. the filial and fraternal don’t offend superiors,
and thus will not create disorder)
- ren (humanness or humanity): the self-aware interconnectedness with and responsiveness to many others,
derived from li (rites, rituals, proprieties, and decorum)
o from ren comes yi (righteousness), the respect for and proper actions to others
o yi allows for the establishment of harmony, like the way of ancient kings
o ren yi li
- ren also extended by two golden rules (“principle of applying a measuring square”): negative golden rule
(shu): don’t impose on others what you yourself don’t want, positive golden rule (cheng): a man of humanity
wishing to establishing himself also establishes others; wish to be self-prominent also helps others to be
o shu can extend from reciprocity to universalizability
- “doing for nothing”: one does what one ought to do, simply b/c it’s morally right to do it; value of doing things
is in doing itself, not in the external results
- Virtue ethics: excellence of abilities (wisdom as excellence of human intellect, ren as excellence of human
feeling, bravery as excellence of human will) and harmonization of relationship (good relation with others by
5 virtues of earnestness, liberality, truthfulness, diligence, and generosity)
- governing by li and virtue: leading them by virtue and regulating them by li, instead of leading them by
political power and regulating them by law and punishment
Zisi (Classical Confucianism)
- human nature comes from mandate, which comes from Heaven. Dao starts from human feeling which is born
from human nature. Heaven Mandate Human nature human feeling Dao
- humanity is born wihitn human being, whereas rightness is born from the Way (interior ren vs exterior yi)
o Way = the following of human nature
- 5 virtuous actions: ren, yi, li, zhi, sheng; all formed within is virtuous and without is just action, except for sheng
which is both virtuous action). sysnthesis of the first four = excellence, way of human; synthesis of all = Virtue,
way of Heaven
- Centrality vs sincerity: Ultimate Reality vs True Reality, sincerity enlightenment human nature
Mencius (Classical Confucianism)
- humans all have “four beginnings”: feeling of commiseration, shame and dislike, respect and reverence. right and
wrong, all respectively unfold into humanness, righteousness, propriety and wisdom
- the mind cannot bear to see the suffering of others; human nature is originally good, if don’t have the four
beginnings, they are not human but animals.
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