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Unit Two Ancient China

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					Unit Two: Ancient China
Confucianism: Philosophies during the Era of Warring States

NAME:                                                        CLASS PERIOD:

Part One: Please Do Now: Answer the following questions honestly from your own perspective.

   1. To whom do I show loyalty? Who shows loyalty to me? Why?




   2. Who takes care of me and sets a good example for me? Why?




   3. Who do I take care of and set a good example for? Why?




Part Two: Background: Who was Confucius?
You now know that the Zhou (“Joe”) Dynasty, which ruled China from approximately 1027 B.C.E.
until 221 B.C.E., introduced the idea of the Mandate of Heaven. This was a belief that rulers could
only be in power as long as they are liked by the gods. The Mandate of Heaven also justified the
dynastic ruler‟s claim to power. The ruling family could say that the rulers of the dynasty before it had
become corrupt, so the gods took their power away. But problems across China did not let the Zhou
Dynasty hold onto power without a battle: The later phase of the Zhou Dynasty, between 441 B.C.E.
and 221 B.C.E., was characterized by chaos. Constant wars broke out between places and order was
very weak. This period is called the Era of Warring States (as you already have written on your #9
timeline).

It was at this time that philosophers were thinking of ways to bring order to their dangerous and hurtful
society. Confucius, who lived from approximately 551 B.C.E. to 479 B.C.E., looked for solutions to
these problems. He taught and expressed his ideas by answering questions, and his students collected
his statements into a book called The Analects. Although he was not famous when he lived, he
became the most influential thinker in Chinese history (and the most quoted individual in fortune
cookies). His philosophy came to be known as Confucianism.

Part Three: What are the Five       Relationships in Confucianism?          Fill them in as we go along:

Relationship                         Relationship Pair                  Equal or Unequal?
1.      Ruler to:                    Subject (ruled)                    Unequal

        Master to:                   servant or slave
2.      Father to:                   son                                Unequal



3.        Husband to:                Wife                               Unequal

     4. Elder brother (or            Younger brother (or sibling)       Unequal
        sibling) to:

5.       Friend to:                  Friend                             Equal




     What feelings and actions must fit each relationship?

     Ren: your appropriate internal attitude (for example: compassion, respect, sympathy, etc.)

     Li: your correct external actions (for example: behavior, politeness, manners, etc.)


What is filial piety?
One learns proper ren and li by living in a family. Parents teach ren and li by their examples and
through the atmosphere in the home. Children learn ren and li and first show this obedience to their
elders, known as filial piety. Every relationship comes from this order in the family. People need to
know how to act in different situations according to their roles. If each household follows proper filial
piety, society‟s and government‟s order and stability will follow.
Part Four HW: Confucian Solutions
     DIRECTIONS: Write two responses to each scenario (situation) below. Come up with a
     “Confucian Solution” first, including proper ren and li, and then decide what you personally would
     do.
Scenario                             Confucian Solution: What            My solution: What is it? How
                                     would Confucius say? What is        is it different than the Confician
                                     the ren? What is the li?            one?
Your grandmother is sick in the
hospital and your parents want
you to visit her everyday. But
you have basketball practice that
is leading up to the playoffs.
What do you do?




Your family is in financial
trouble and they need money.
Supervisors at your family‟s
place of employment are laying
off workers, and your family
members may be next. Your
friend is encouraging you to
steal to help out. What do you
do?




Your elderly aunt, with whom
you are not close, is visiting
your house. She asks for your
chair and your attention so she
can talk about all the people she
doesn‟t like at the senior citizen
center. She is a negative and
unhappy person who does not
care about your opinion. What
do you do?
Unit Two: Ancient China
Confucianism, Day Two: Philosophies during the Era of Warring States

NAME:                                                        CLASS PERIOD:

Part Five: Please Do Now, Day Two:
Write an example of filial piety in your own life: What is your proper ren (your internal attitude)?
What is your proper li (your external actions)?




Part Six: Responses to Conficucian statements (to start in class and finish for HW)
Below are sample statements about the Five Relationships from The Analects by Confucius. Write
your opinion directly below each quote. First, paraphrase each statement about the Five Relationships
in your own words! Then, state whether you agree or disagree.

1. The relationship between ruler and subject/master and servant:
“The superior man does not preach what he practices until he has practiced what he preaches.”




“[If you] Govern the people by regulations and laws, keep order among them by punishment, and they
well flee from you and lose all respect. Lead them with virtue [goodness] and regulate them with rules
of li, and they will keep their self-respect and come to you.”




2. The relationship between father and son:
“If fathers are fathers and sons are sons, the country will function smoothly.”
“Behave in a way that your father and mother have no anxiety about you except concerning your
health.”




“While father and mother are alive, a good son does not wander far; or if he does so, goes only where
he has said he was going.”




3. The relationship between husband and wife:
“It is only women and unimportant persons who are difficult to provide for. Drawing them close, they
are arrogant, and keeping them at a distance, they complain.”




4. The relationship between elder brother and younger brother:
“During an incident when an older brother is in danger, the younger one has fallen behind. The elder,
when he finds a younger, says, „I was afraid they had killed you.‟ The younger replies, „While you are
alive, how can I dare to die?‟”




5. The relationship between friend and friend:
“To learn and to repeat what one has learned [from a friend], is that not a pleasure? That friends come
from far, is that not delightful?”

				
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