Legalism emphasizes the proscribing of laws in order to ensure public order, whereas Confucianism is more concerned with instilling morality. Both philosophies are very concerned with how to effectively govern a state, but they take very different approaches. Legalism favors a complex system of rewards and punishments to control human behavior, while Confucianism places importance on virtuous rulers who teach the people by example.Continue Reading
Legalism arose in response to Chinese rulers who desired to unify the country. The advisers who developed and systematized Legalism were interested in organizing society on a rational basis and placed great emphasis on strengthening the military and agricultural sectors. Ultimately, the Legalist solution was to highly regulate Chinese society and give harsh punishments for disobedience. This tendency culminated in the brutality of the Qin Dynasty. The oppressive force of the Qin led to the dynasty's downfall.
Confucianism's stance directly opposes Legalism. It is based on the notion that law without morality is a weak basis for society. If people are virtuous, there is no need for stringent laws. Confucius taught the importance of four virtues: sincerity, benevolence, filial piety and propriety. Whereas Legalists emphasized devotion to the state and subordinated religious rites and traditions to political sovereignty, Confucius espoused the necessity of reverencing ancestors though commemoration and ceremony.Learn more about Philosophy
According to legalist philosophers, individuals were considered to be selfishly motivated by envy of the riches and fame of others, and cannot be expected to behave morally on their own. With this view of human nature in mind, legalist thinkers claimed that social harmony could only be achieved by the formation of a wealthy and powerful state with strictly applied laws.Full Answer >
Confucius was a famous Chinese philosopher and writer whose work inspired the Chinese school of thought known as Confucianism. One of his most known quotes is, "Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself." Another famous quote reveals his belief in finding one's passion or calling in life. It says, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."Full Answer >
Confucius was a Chinese sage and philosopher who lived from 551 to 479 B.C. and was responsible for the official ideology, Confucianism, of early China. His theories became known as Confucianism, a system of social and political morality that some also consider a religion. Although Confucianism was officially abandoned in the 20th century, his philosophies still have large influence on modern Chinese ideals and customs.Full Answer >
The Scottish philosopher David Hume took a revolutionary approach to the philosophical study of human nature, including morality or ethics. He objected to metaphysical or rational arguments, instead focusing on an empirical study inspired by Newton's scientific method.Full Answer >