Essay on Comparing Confucianism and Daoism

734 Words Oct 28th, 2011 3 Pages
Confucianism and Daoism

Even though he died in 479 B.C, Confucianism became one of the most influential thought systems of Chinese history through a small handful of devoted followers because they continued his legacy.
These followers had to derive their own interpretations of his system that formulated what is now known as the Analects.
Both Confucianism and Daoism disfavored harsh government.
Both also accepted the presence of a supernatural entity without providing a clear explanation on it.

Confucianism and Daoism (Taoism) both focus on the goal of self improvement. Taoism was more focused on improving the individual's relationship with himself, creaing an inner harmony. On the other hand, Confucianism focused on the
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On the other hand, Taoism places much more focus on the relationship of the individual with himself, on achieving an inner harmony. Taoism is much less earthly in nature and places importance on "coming into harmony" with the Tao - the ultimate reality that formed the universe and everything around us. To simplify, while they both dwell on the improvement of the individual, Confucianism looks outward to accomplish this, while Taoism looks inward. Another area where the two philosophies differ is in how they are passed on and taught. While both philosophies revolve around the wisdom of a single teacher or master, they are presented in very different ways. Confucianism has a dialogic tradition - that is, lessons and teaching are presented as a dialog between the master (Confucius) and his student(s). In fact, most of the Confucian texts are simply that - recordings of question and answer sessions between master and student, each with a distinct lesson to impart. Taoism relies mostly on the direct writings of Lao Tzu, its founder. The "Tao Te Ching", Taoism's main text, is a series of monologues (in poem form) that are meant to be taken as a whole. One thing that Confucianism and Taoism have in common is that both philosophies focus on the goal of self-improvement. In Confucianism, the individual improves himself through orderly adherence with codes of behavior and respect for elders, and the

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