Like the historical Confucius, the historical Mencius is available only through a text that, in its complete form at least, postdates his traditional lifetime (372-289 BCE). The philological controversy surrounding the date and composition of the text that bears his name is far less intense than that which surrounds the Confucian Analects , however. Most scholars agree that the entire Mencius was assembled by Mencius himself and his immediate disciples, perhaps shortly after his death. The text records several encounters with various rulers during Mencius' old age, which can be dated between 323 and 314 BCE, making Mencius an active figure no later than the late fourth century BCE.

Thus, a new role for shi as itinerant antiquarians emerged. In such roles, shi found themselves in and out of office as the fortunes of various patron states ebbed and flowed. Mencius' office in the state of Qi probably was no more than an honorary title. While out of office, veteran shi might gather small circles of disciples - young men from shi backgrounds who wished to succeed in public life - and seek audiences with rulers who might give them an opportunity to put their ideas into practice. The text of the Mencius claims to record Mencius' teachings to his disciples as well as his dialogues with the philosophers and rulers of his day.

Mencius' philosophical concerns, while scattered across the seven books of the text that bears his name, demonstrate a high degree of consistency unusual in early Chinese philosophical writing. They can be categorized into four groups:

Like the historical Confucius, the historical Mencius is available only through a text that, in its complete form at least, postdates his traditional lifetime (372-289 BCE). The philological controversy surrounding the date and composition of the text that bears his name is far less intense than that which surrounds the Confucian Analects , however. Most scholars agree that the entire Mencius was assembled by Mencius himself and his immediate disciples, perhaps shortly after his death. The text records several encounters with various rulers during Mencius' old age, which can be dated between 323 and 314 BCE, making Mencius an active figure no later than the late fourth century BCE.

Thus, a new role for shi as itinerant antiquarians emerged. In such roles, shi found themselves in and out of office as the fortunes of various patron states ebbed and flowed. Mencius' office in the state of Qi probably was no more than an honorary title. While out of office, veteran shi might gather small circles of disciples - young men from shi backgrounds who wished to succeed in public life - and seek audiences with rulers who might give them an opportunity to put their ideas into practice. The text of the Mencius claims to record Mencius' teachings to his disciples as well as his dialogues with the philosophers and rulers of his day.

Mencius' philosophical concerns, while scattered across the seven books of the text that bears his name, demonstrate a high degree of consistency unusual in early Chinese philosophical writing. They can be categorized into four groups:

This chapter has been published in the book CHINA, KOREA & JAPAN to 1800 . For ordering information please click here.

As education and literacy spread in China and scholars became influential as ministers of rulers, philosophers also began to flourish. In the late sixth century BC two of the greatest philosophers of all time emerged in China - Lao-zi, the founder of Daoism, and Confucius, whose philosophy and religion came to dominate China for more than two millennia.

Confucius is the Latinized form of Kong Fu-zi, which means Kong the master. Confucius was born in the small state of Lu in 551 BC and died in 479 BC. This was a time of turmoil, political intrigue, and numerous small wars in the last part of the Spring and Autumn era. Assassinations, bribery, adultery, and other crimes were common even though punishments were severe. In Lu three families contended for the hereditary rulership, while numerous educated aristocrats sought positions in the government, and many suffered poverty.

10,000:            food gathering to food producing as well as plant cultivation and domestication of animals. Coarse pottery made from paste decorated impressions of cord-wrapped sticks.

7,000 – 6,000:            Yang-Shao culture – villages divided into dwelling areas, hand-painted red pottery with rudimentary designs.

4,000;            Coastal Lung-Shan culture produces hard, lustrous pottery with ridges and incised patterns; paddle and anvil techniques; works decorated with chord and basket markings.

Like the historical Confucius, the historical Mencius is available only through a text that, in its complete form at least, postdates his traditional lifetime (372-289 BCE). The philological controversy surrounding the date and composition of the text that bears his name is far less intense than that which surrounds the Confucian Analects , however. Most scholars agree that the entire Mencius was assembled by Mencius himself and his immediate disciples, perhaps shortly after his death. The text records several encounters with various rulers during Mencius' old age, which can be dated between 323 and 314 BCE, making Mencius an active figure no later than the late fourth century BCE.

Thus, a new role for shi as itinerant antiquarians emerged. In such roles, shi found themselves in and out of office as the fortunes of various patron states ebbed and flowed. Mencius' office in the state of Qi probably was no more than an honorary title. While out of office, veteran shi might gather small circles of disciples - young men from shi backgrounds who wished to succeed in public life - and seek audiences with rulers who might give them an opportunity to put their ideas into practice. The text of the Mencius claims to record Mencius' teachings to his disciples as well as his dialogues with the philosophers and rulers of his day.

Mencius' philosophical concerns, while scattered across the seven books of the text that bears his name, demonstrate a high degree of consistency unusual in early Chinese philosophical writing. They can be categorized into four groups:

This chapter has been published in the book CHINA, KOREA & JAPAN to 1800 . For ordering information please click here.

As education and literacy spread in China and scholars became influential as ministers of rulers, philosophers also began to flourish. In the late sixth century BC two of the greatest philosophers of all time emerged in China - Lao-zi, the founder of Daoism, and Confucius, whose philosophy and religion came to dominate China for more than two millennia.

Confucius is the Latinized form of Kong Fu-zi, which means Kong the master. Confucius was born in the small state of Lu in 551 BC and died in 479 BC. This was a time of turmoil, political intrigue, and numerous small wars in the last part of the Spring and Autumn era. Assassinations, bribery, adultery, and other crimes were common even though punishments were severe. In Lu three families contended for the hereditary rulership, while numerous educated aristocrats sought positions in the government, and many suffered poverty.

The Chinese Roots of Japanese Art and Buddhism: 500,000.


Notes on Taoism - Taoism - Enlightened Spirituality

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