The China History Podcast

This is an all Neo-Confucian episode. Last episode, Laszlo introduced three of the five founders of Neo-Confucianism: Zhou Dunyi, Shao Yong and Zhang Zai. This time we finish off with the remaining two founders: the Cheng Brothers, Cheng Hao and Cheng Yi. And taking this rich harvest to the next level is Zhu Xi. The basic tenets of Neo-Confucianism are introduced, with a focus on lǐ (principle) and xīn (mind) and how these two concepts caused a great divide in the two main schools of Neo-Confucianism. Qì (life-force) is also examined, and how that fits into the big picture. The episode closes with an introduction to the extraordinary life of someone getting a lot of press these days in China, Wang Yangming, and his contributions to Neo-Confucianism. 

 

Direct download: CHP-191-The_History_of_Chinese_Philosophy_Part_8.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 7:05am PST

In the late Han Dynasty, philosophy was a lot more complex than in Confucius's time. The focus in this episode is on philosophical thought in the Tang Dynasty (618-907).  From the fall of the Han dynasty in 220, all the way through the Six Dynasties, Buddhism had spread quickly throughout the disunited kingdoms of China. By the time the father and son team of Yang Jian and Yang Guang stabilized and united China into a new empire in 589, Buddhism had taken root and appealed to the weary masses and the aristocrats. Later in the Tang Dynasty, Confucianism reasserted itself, and after the brilliant work of Han Yu, Li Ao and Liu Zongyuan, it set the stage for the third epoch in Confucianism during the Song dynasty. Laszlo also briefly introduces three of the founding fathers of Neo Confucianism, Zhou Dunyi, Shao Yong and Zhang Zai

 
Direct download: CHP-190-The_History_of_Chinese_Philosophy_Part_7.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 5:38am PST

Laszlo gives the subject of Daoism, the Daodejing and the Zhuangzi a fresh makeover, covered before in an old China History Podcast episode from days gone by. The history of Daoism is explored as well as its main characters, Laozi and Zhuangzi, and what they called for in those dark Eastern Zhou times. Daoism is both a philosophy and a religion, but this episode only explores the former. The Xuanxue thinkers Wang Bi, Guo Xiang and Xiang Xiu are also discussed, as well as the Neo-Daoism that evolved in the Han. As Daoism and Confucianism evolved in China, side by side, there was occasionally some interesting overlap. Confucians from here on out actively explored ways to reconcile their philosophy with the other major contending schools of thought, Daoism and Buddhism.

Direct download: CHP-189-The_History_of_Chinese_Philosophy_Part_6.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 10:03am PST

Legalism takes front and center stage in this episode. After the conquest of the competing Warring States in 221 BCE by Qin Shihuang, a new ideology was embraced by the new Chinese state. The Legalist philosophers Shang Yang, Shen Buhai, Shen Dao, Han Fei and Li Si are all introduced as well as their individual and collective contributions in laying the Legalist foundations for what was to follow in the Qin dynasty, and over the next two thousand years of imperial Chinese history. Laszlo also shows what happened to Legalism right after the Qin Emperor met his untimely end, and how this led to Confucianism's greatest triumph in the Han dynasty thanks to Dong Zhongshu and others.

Direct download: CHP-188-The_History_of_Chinese_Philosophy_Part_5R.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 7:38am PST

Laszlo is back on track, picking up where we left off in part two following the death of Master Kong in 479 BCE. A lot happened in the world of Chinese philosophy right after Confucius passed. He had both disciples who carried on his teachings, and naysayers who pointed to flaws in this Ru School of philosophy and offered an alternative kind of thought. As the countdown to the milestone year of 221 BCE gets nearer, a hundred schools of thought contended like never before, each offering their solutions to the tumultuous and bloody times of the latter half of the Eastern Zhou dynasty

Direct download: CHP-187-The_History_of_Chinese_Philosophy_Part_4.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 1:05pm PST

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