Essay Example on Fundamental Concerns of Confucianism

Published: 2023-04-09
Essay Example on Fundamental Concerns of Confucianism
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Philosophy Environment Buddhism Asia
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1792 words
15 min read

There is a concern about the way Confucianism links with the environment. Environmentalism concern dictates that several world traditions disregard the natural environment. There is a demand for the philosophy behind Confucianism to seriously consider the ethical correlation of human beings to the environment (Li, 2012). In this regard, mainstream Confucianism in practice is attributed to being mostly anthropocentric being at loggerhead with the current environmentalism. The analects of Confucianism contains passages linked to animals, indicating a concern for the environment.

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Confucianism is concerned with science in explaining the nature of science and the value put on science in the philosophical system (Li, 2012). Mainstream Confucianism attributes focuses on the ethical views of the world. It is based on moral values as the foundation of the centers and the cosmos of human existence in the moral domain.

The most significant concern is on its survival into the future. It instigates social continuity and influence, but since time immemorial, the government provided support to its cause, making it come to the forefront of the Chinese culture. There is a nonexistent state sponsorship of Confucianism, which is alarming in its survival.

There is a concern about the connection between democracy and zhi xing (Li, 2012). Plurality being key in a democracy need to integrated within the central ideas of Confucianism. As a value system, Confucianism is required to explain whether it acknowledges the existence legitimacy of different components of an issue. Also, it needs to clarify where it stands in particular items that are significant to democracy and promote specific prioritization of values and reject others.

In the feminist concern of Confucianism, it has a long history of sexual discrimination among women and needs to reshape its position concerning women. The issue of sexual equality cannot be resolved with democracy but is helpful to the feminism cause (Li, 2012). Democracy does not guarantee equality between sexes, and the issue of feminist concern needs to be dealt with together with democracy. Confucianism needs to indicate its perception of when owing a high historical debt to them. The first step is to abandon the differentiation of both sexes.

Central Ideas of Confucianism

The main concepts of Confucianism are li and jen. Jen explains human heartedness, benevolence, man kindness, which are the attributes that make a man a human. Jen entails the feeling of dignity of human life and a sense of humanity to others. Li explains the principle of propriety, order, benefit, and gain, which are vital to human action. It emphasizes people's openness to each other explained in the reification of names, mean doctrine ad five relationships.

Ultimate Goals of Confucianism.

Confucianism aims to promote Jen, meaning human-heartedness, humanity, goodness, and love. It purports that Jen is manifested through faithfulness to oneself another. It also seeks to promote filial piety, integrity, propriety, and righteousness (Pecorino, 2001). In the government, it advocated for a paternalistic rule where the leader is honorable and benevolent and the citizens obedient and respectful. The leader needs to develop moral perfection setting an excellent example for the people.

Basic Ideas of Daoism and Buddhism

Daoism is based on nature as the source of morality, with the aim in life is to find the way (Liu, 2015). Several elements of the past agrarian religion dominated the Chinese thought uninterruptedly even before the philosophic schools were formed. The first concept of Daoism is the continuity between human beings and nature or rather the connection between human society and the earth. Secondly is the rhythm of constant transformation and flux in the universe associated with the reversion of everything form the Dao from which they emerged. Thirdly is the divine attribute of the sovereign, cult of heaven and worship of ancestors.

On the other hand, Buddhism preached the origin of every human suffering, and pains get caused by human desire. The basic concepts associated with Buddhism that enables the believer to attain Nirvana are Eightfold path and self-meditation (Liu, 2015). China practices Mahayana Buddhism composed of esoteric ideas, including worshipping several deities who answer the calls of the faithful, heaven and hell, faith in reincarnation, and repeated chanting in prayers (Liu, 2015).

Daoism and Buddhism Development in China


Daoism began in the year 142 C.E. following the revelation of the Tao to Chang Tao-Ling by the personified Tao deity (B.B.C., 2009). In the third and fourth centuries B.C.E., it was the first acknowledged as a system of religion. In the Tang dynasty of 618-906, Daoism was favored with special backing (Zhang, n.d.). Emperors revered Laozi, whose surname is Li, which is similar to the ruling house of Tang; hence Laozi was recognized as their ancestors, and they supported its development. Their support entailed the construction of Taoist temples and the creation of teaching areas to enroll learners studying Taoist canons. In the Song dynasty form 960-1279 (Zhang, n.d.). Daoism recovered from competing with Buddhism for supporters and gained popularity during the reign of Emperor Huizong in the period between 1100-1125 (Zhang, n.d.). The emperor commissioned the Daoist priest to his court to educate him on the alchemy of Daoism. The period marked the heyday of China Daoism. With the popularity of Confucianism, Daoism lost favor and was deemed a widespread religious tradition.


Buddhism was introduced in China in the second century B.C.E. by decent Caucasian merchants from Yuezhi, who had settled in the current day Xinjiang. Buddhism became popular throughout the time of party-political disagreement in China after the tumble of the Han reign between 220-581 (Asia for Educators, 2019). Buddhism school's growth after the reconsolidation of China below the rule of Sui in the year 581 (Asia for Educators, 2019). Buddhism was very popular during the Tang rule. The demand for reclusive Buddhist life was upheld to fluctuating grades until 845, with its decline after the Tang rule (Asia for Educators, 2019).

The Court Attitude Toward Daoism and Buddhism

The individual in the court has a positive attitude towards the Buddhist culture where they tolerated it and took it in (Tang, 2016, p. 50). it was a period of drastic transition in the Han dynasty with the metaphysic of Jin and Wei transformed into a deviated culture of Daoism and Buddhism. The popularity of Buddhism caused the changing of old beliefs of Chinese folk culture. For instance, the Daoist culture got revered with archeological and artistic artifacts and an abundance of relevant texts (Kieschnick, 2003, p. 282). There are also Buddhist monasteries and cultures in China.

Neo-Confucianism and Chan Buddhism

The neo-Confucianism gets based on the mixture of Daoist and Buddhist components, which later gets branched into two schools of philosophy (Pecorino, 2001). The first component is the Chu-Hi representing all nature items. It is made of two inherent forces, namely, ch'i, which makes all materials and li, which is an immaterial global law. Ch'i is further described with the possibility of changing or dissolving while the components of li are indestructible and constant. Chan Buddhism is extensively affected by the neo-Confucianism in the renaissance of Confucian philosophy in Song times. In this scenario, Confucianism gained global popularity past the challenges of society.

The Developments of Writing Technology and the Changing Forms of the Book

Earliest Times

During the earliest times, the Mesopotamian cuneiform was invented in Iraq, previously referred to as Sumer circa 3200 BC ("The University of Texas at Austin", 2014). It can get traced back 10,000 years firm the prehistoric precursor to the contemporary character set ("The University of Texas at Austin", 2014). The evolution of writing occurred in four stages. The first was in clay stones that represented units of accounting for goods at the period between 8000 to 3500 BC ("The University of Texas at Austin", 2014).

The second phase involved the three-dimensional tokens, which got transformed into two-dimensional pictographic symbols, which served exclusively for accounting in the period between 3500 to 3000 BC ("The University of Texas at Austin", 2014). The phonetic signs marked the third phase presented to record the designation of the individual, marking the revolutionary part when writing had matched the verbal-linguistic, making it be applied to the fields of human involvement at the period between 3000-1500 BC ("The University of Texas at Austin", 2014). The last phase gets characterized by two dozen letters, with each having a meaning for a single choice in which the character set perfected the interpretation of dialogue.

After the phase of ideography, syllabaries, and logography, the alphabet described an in-depth segmentation of meaning. The invention of the alphabet occurred circa 1500 BC ("The University of Texas at Austin", 2014). The first proto-Canaanite alphabet originated from the current day Lebanon with the asset of 22 letters ("The University of Texas at Austin", 2014). The first system of the alphabet was based on acrophony, and the second was consonantal works with dialogue noises. The system got later streamlined into several hundred signs from the previous 22 ("The University of Texas at Austin", 2014).

Han Dynasty

The Han diversity between 206 BCE to 220 CE was an era of progress in Chinese culture (Cartwright, 2017). The thirst for new knowledge, ambitious research, and openhanded academic pursuit helped in the invention paper and formulation of writing history. The literature of this period was done by the famous Sima Qian, who got referred to as the first Chinese historian to write about 200 chapters of the two-and-a-half-millennium of history of the Chinese (Cartwright, 2017). The period marked the invention of refined paper in 105 CE using plan fibers that got dried in the form of sheets (Cartwright, 2017). The discovery gets credited to Cai Lun, who was the director of the imperial workshop at Luoyang. The refined paper replaced the previously used wooden strips, dense bamboo, and expensive silks for writing.

Tang and Song Dynasties

The Tang dynasty was a period of artistic brilliance in the production of great poetry with the two most celebrated poets being Li Bo, who worked on life pleasures, and Tu Fu, who wrote on Confucian and orderliness virtues. The period marked development in science and technology with the invention of a portable printer that could arrange blocks of individual characters in a frame and create a page for printing ("Tang and Song China," n.d.). It replaces the previous printers that used to carve a whole page amount of words into a large block. It marked an essential technological advancement in writing. In the Song dynasty, the government advocated for the printing of Confucian texts referred to as cannons.


Asia for Educators. (2019). 4000 BCE-1000 CE: The Tang Empire (618-907) | Central Themes and Key Points. Asia for Educators | Columbia University.

B.B.C. (2009, December 11). The Origins of Taoism. B.B.C. - Home.

Cartwright, M. (2017, September 14). Achievements of the Han Dynasty. Ancient History Encyclopedia.

Kieschnick, J. (2003). The Impact of Buddhism on Chinese Material Culture. Princeton University Press.

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