Discussion Questions


Kongfuzi and Laozi

ENG 271

JF Drake State Technical and Community College

Confucius (Kong Fuzi)

China, 551-479 BCE

Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn Period of Chinese history.

The philosophy of Confucius emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity


Combination of a sign meaning “human” and “two”—a respectful relationship based on human feeling or benevolence.

The Analects

The Song Emperor Taizong asked his Grand Secretary Zhao Pu why he was reading the Analects, a book commonly taught to kids. Zhao replied: "With half of this book I helped your father gain the empire. With the other half I help you to preserve it."

Taoism (c. 300 B.C.E.)

Tao (pronounced “Dao”) means "way", "path" or "principle”

emphasize wu-wei (action through non-action), "naturalness", simplicity, spontaneity, and the Three Treasures: compassion, moderation, and humility.

Laozi is traditionally regarded as the founder of Taoism and is closely associated in this context with "original", or "primordial", Taoism


a philosopher of ancient China, best known as the author of the Tao Te Ching (often simply referred to as Laozi).

His association with the Tào Té Chīng has led him to be traditionally considered the founder of philosophical Taoism (pronounced as "Daoism").

He is also revered as a deity in most religious forms of Taoist philosophy, which often refers to Laozi as Taishang Laojun, or "One of the Three Pure Ones".

Dao De Jing

The Tao Te Ching, Dao De Jing, or Daodejing (道德經: 道 dào "way"; 德 dé "virtue"; 經 jīng "classic" or "book") also simply referred to as the Laozi

The text is fundamental to both philosophical and religious Taoism

Wu-wei (productive passiveness or “non-action”)


Core doctrine is ahimsa, sanskrit for “non-harming”

Happy we dwell, happy we live, who call nothing whatsoever our own”

Jainism had its beginning in the sixth-century B.C. when as a man by the name of Mahavira (which means "Great Man" or "Hero") rejected his early upbringing in a life of luxury and embraced the ascetic life of a wandering monk

Ahimsa: non-injury to anyone or anything.

Atman: no personal God, just consciousness.

Bandha: the effect of karma upon a person which results in bondage.

Karma: a physical substance which attaches itself to a person's soul

Five Great Ascetic Vows for Jain Monks

Thou shalt not kill any living being.

Thou shalt not lie.

Thou shalt not take what is not given.

Thou shalt not have sex.

Thou shalt not be attached to anything.

Thou shalt not eat after dark.

Twelve Rules for Jain Laypersons

Thou shalt not kill any living being.

Thou shalt not lie.

Thou shalt not steal.

Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Thou shalt not be greedy.

Thou shalt be tempted through unnecessary travel.

Thou shalt not be attached to too many daily things.

Thou shalt not be caught unaware of unnecessary evils.

Thou shalt maintain a planned period of meditation.

Thou shalt observe special periods of self-denial.

Thou shalt commit thyself to occasional days of monk asceticism.

Thou shalt give monetary support to the monks.