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Classic Asian Philosophers

I’ve mentioned a bunch of these guys before in my Kung Fu Exercise book breakdown, so I thought I would make a separate set of pages for each.  This page will be more of a synopsis of each historical figure, but will contain a link to a more detailed page with more history and other reference links.

Chinese

Confucius (551–479 BCE) was a Chinese politician, philosopher, and teacher of the Spring and Autumn Period of Chinese History.  He espoused personal and governmental morality, the virtues of justice and humanity, which came from the delineation and propriety of social relationships.  Widely respected in his era, his teachings would form the foundation of what is now commonly referred to as Confucianism and was a pivotal figure in the development of the Chinese social system.
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Lao Tzu
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Sun Tzu
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Menicus
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Chuang Tzu
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Bodhidharma
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Bodhidharma

 I bet you’re wondering who this “mean-looking, grumpy old man” is, and what he’s doing on this page. His name is Bodhidharma, and he is one of the most influential people most of the world has never heard of.  Many people are likely to have seen his intense image in different forms of art, but few …

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Chuang Tzu

Chuang Tzu (aka Chuang Tzu, Zhuangzi, or Zhuang Zhou) was a 4th century CE Taoist philosopher although, like Lao-Tzu, the question of whether or not this person actually existed. That notwithstanding, his major work (called the Zhuangzi/ Chuang Tzu, named after him) is one of foundational writings in skepticism and relativism, predating the Western skepticism …

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Confucius

Confucius (or K’ung fu-tse, Kongzi, or Kong Fuzi) was a late 6th/early 5th century BCE* scholar whose greatest hope and wish was to be a government official, and he spent years cultivating a philosophy of good governance that would later be so highly respected that it was an essential study in the curriculum of all …

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Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu (aka Laozi) was a 6th century BCE philosopher credited with writing the Tao te Ching (pronounced Dow day zhing) and founding the Taoist (pronounced “Dow-ist”) religious practice. There are concerns and contentions as to exactly when Lao Tzu lived, and if he lived at all.  Some scholars contend that Lao Tzu (a title …

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Mencius

Mencius (aka Mengzi or Meng-Tze) was a 4th Century BCE Chinese philosopher, who is the most famous Confucian second only to Confucius himself. Confucius’ writings were very short and rather succinct, while Mencius wrote in long arguments and prose.  His views on human nature were that people are inherently good and it was society that …

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