ETHRSON 18 Study Guide - Fall 2018, Comprehensive Midterm Notes - Zhuang Zhou, Xun Kuang, Warring States Period

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12 Oct 2018
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ETHRSON 18
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
Fall 2018
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ER 18 Chinese Philosophy Lecture Notes
Lecture 2: 9/7/16: The Axial Age in China
We all have our own assumptions about how the world works
In an era of liberation, we are living in world of globalization
We have TONS to learn from the rest of the world and throughout human history, and it
sheds a light on the world we take for granted
oExamining the past results in us looking at our own world differently
Attempts to break from the times that came before has been going on for quite a long
time
Today’s lecture is a jump through the world’s history
When did it begin? When we were getting these hierarchical societies and such?
oAbout 10,000 years ago was when domestication began, settling down took place
oEmergence of cities and such
oThis then gave way to the development of complex societies
Metallurgy came into play and is making societies hierarchical
oAristocracy was using bronze
oThis was the Bronze Age (3000-2000 BCE)
oThese materials were spreading across all of Eurasia
Societies began to form which looked all very similar
Crucial turning point: 1st millennium BCE: All of the societies which had recently formed
began to crumble
oPeople began to realize a natural substance was able to replace bronze
IRON!
oMass production of iron weapons allowed for people to expand greatly
This included agricultural tools as well
oRadical increase of the population resulted from this
Tons of people were not happy that they were not born into the aristocracy
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oStrong push for social mobility began; breaking apart the aristocratic worlds
Our use of the term traditional changes over time in relation to various governing systems
Most of the great philosophical ideas we developed are traced back to the period of
reworking the traditional ideas
What happens if we realize that humans are building worlds and trying to change the
worlds they live in to create better societies for themselves?
Bronze Age throughout Asia was similar
oHierarchical and such
What were things like before the Bronze Age?
oThere was a society based entirely upon ethical cultivation
Trying to make themselves good human beings
oMost moral person would give their morals to their descendants
oSingle lineage began to show who rulers were
The idea that the MORALITY of someone should be what determines rule is key
At the point at which the ruler fails to be moral, they not only can, but SHOULD be
overthrown
Heaven was a moral agent
oHeaven would oversee this process
oHeaven can withdraw the mandate and begin a new dynasty
The first three dynasties in China were all the Bronze Age dynasties
After the third dynasty begins to crumble, there is no other aristocratic family to rule
Warring States Period
oWhen the third dynasty falls, all of the small areas of the previous kingdom begin
to be independent and start the experimentation process of other governments and
such
oSuccessful governments experiment with more radical forms of government
Rules and laws that apply to everyone
People are rated upon merit, not by birth
Trying to take these ideas of merit, and getting a state to function that way
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