The China History Podcast (podcasts)

In this episode, Laszlo tries something new. This time we look at the life and times of Whitey Smith.  Who?   

Direct download: CHP-193-Whitey_Smith_and_Early_Shanghai_Jazz.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 10:59am PDT

Laszlo emerges from the post-holiday festivities to finish off the series, picking up from the last episode of the life and work of Wang Yangming. The differences between the two main schools of Neo-Confucianism is further discussed: the Lu-Wang School of the Mind (Xinxue) and the Cheng-Zhu School of Principle (Lixue). We also saved philosopher Zou Yan and the Five Elements (Wuxing) for last. And that completes this nine-part set course meal in the History of Chinese Philosophy. If anything spoke to you, you're now armed and ready to do as many deeper dives into all these schools of thought as your heart desires.

Direct download: CHP-192-The_History_of_Chinese_Philosophy_Part_9.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 7:26am PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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_5.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 7:38am PDT

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 PDT

Although covered before in an old China History Podcast episode, Laszlo takes the Yi Jing (I Ching, sometimes called the ‘Book of Changes’) off the shelf for a total makeover and freshening up. In this brief detour along the history timeline, Laszlo picks the Yi Jing apart and offers up both a history of this timeless classic as well as a brief intro about how it works and the role it plays in the life of some people. The Yi Jing is a book with a lot of staying power and has been kept as a handy reference guide for hundreds of millions of people over the millennia. Listen to what it's all about and see for yourself if the Yi Jing can serve you:

Direct download: CHP-186-The_History_of_Chinese_Philosophy_Part_3.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 7:18am PDT

In this second helping of Laszlo's overview of the history of Chinese philosophy, the Great Sage himself is the center of focus. Arguably China's most famous citizen of all time, Confucius (and his disciples) created an ideology and political system that had incredible lasting power. Part two examines the stories surrounding Confucius's life growing up and operating in the State of Lu during the last decades of the Spring and Autumn period of the Zhou Dynasty. In addition to the trials and tribulations faced by Master Kong in his day, the basic tenets of Confucianism are introduced.

Direct download: CHP-185-The_History_of_Chinese_Philosophy_Part_2.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 7:46am PDT

After the longest break in the action since 2001, The CHP is back with this pleasant little 9-Part overview covering the history of Chinese philosophy. The series will run from pre-Confucian times clear through to Wang Yangming in the mid Ming Dynasty, a period stretching for more than two thousand years. And don't forget to download the free Infographic that will accompany the series. I predict it will do wonders in keeping all the names, dates, philosophies and texts straight. Thanks for your patience! I hope you enjoy the series.

Direct download: CHP-184-The_History_of_Chinese_Philosophy_Part_1.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 10:33am PDT