The Beginnings of Philosophy in China

Front Cover
University Press of America, Jan 1, 1999 - Philosophy - 382 pages
Philosophy was born in China in the 6th century, in the person of Confucius. But to properly understand this beginning and its development, we need to recall the beginning of the Zhou dynasty in the 11th century BC. Animated by a vision of the Mandate of Heaven for their rule, the Zhou rulers initiated and maintained a dynasty in north China aimed at achieving a civilized life for all human beings on earth. After a brief sketch of this background, Richard Gotshalk attempts an exposition of the six major figures who gave shape to the early Chinese tradition of philosophy: Confucius, Mo-zi, Lao-zi, Mencius, Zhuang-zi, and Xun-zi. Presenting the thought of each separately, Gotshalk concludes the work by drawing together some of the basic themes and emphases which mark the early Chinese realization of philosophical thought and that distinguishes philosophy in its beginnings in China from philosophy in its beginnings in India and Greece.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - thcson - LibraryThing

The author has completed an ambitious project in writing books about early Greek, Indian and Chinese philosophy. But his presentation seems to rely mostly on his readings of second hand sources, not ... Read full review


The Zhouyi divination in the distinctive Zhou spirit
The immediate historical matrix

12 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1999)

Richard Gotshalk was Professor of Philosophy at Pennsylvania State University until his initial retirement in 1977, then taught part-time at the University of Montana until his second retirement in 1995.

Bibliographic information