- Term Papers and Free Essays

Confucianism And Legalism

Essay by   •  October 20, 2010  •  646 Words (3 Pages)  •  2,497 Views

Essay Preview: Confucianism And Legalism

Report this essay
Page 1 of 3

Confucianism and Legalism, two philosophies used by leaders in ancient China, were adopted by Chinese leaders to help lead the people of China in times of crisis. Each philosophy dealt with the five functions of religion, social cohesion, bringing meaning to the mundane, asserting social control, providing psychological support, and performing a prophetic function. They also had different beliefs and practices and left its own legacy.

Confucianism and Legalism were philosophies, not religions, but each dealt with the five functions of religion: psychological support, social cohesion, meaning to the mundane, prophetic function, and social control. Neither Confucianism nor Legalism preached an afterlife, so when psychological support was needed someone would not be able to rely on God for help, but instead, Confucius, the founder of Confucianism, would rely on books and education for comfort while Han fei-tse would tell people to keep busy with work. Confucius brings society together, social cohesion, by educating the people and having a system so that everyone knows their place in society. This makes for organization and understanding. Han fei-tse brings society together by inflicting fear in the people by enforcing strict laws. Confucius gives meaning to the mundane not through religion, but instead, since he believes strongly in education, he would educate you in science and that would bring meaning to the mundane. Legalism does not try to educate and it does not give the people anything to believe in and it does not help understand things. Since neither philosophy is a religion they don't perform a prophetic function, however, both have dynamic leaders who are capable of instituting social change. Both philosophies believe that you should be hard working and respectful. Legalism believes you should be trained for war and participate in physical labor, while Confucianism believes your life should be centered more on learning and advancing your thinking.

Confucianism and Legalism had different beliefs and practices. Confucianism believed in the five ideals. Jen, the golden rule, Chun-tzu, humanity, Li, right conduct, Te power of moral example, and wen, arts of peace, are the main beliefs of Confucianism. Working hard, being generous, respectful, and kind are the behaviors stressed in Confucianism. Education is important, and people should take an active role in government. Legalism believes people are naturally evil, and they are greedy



Download as:   txt (4 Kb)   pdf (67.4 Kb)   docx (9.6 Kb)  
Continue for 2 more pages »
Only available on