Indian philosophy refers to ancient philosophical traditions of the Indian subcontinent. The principal schools are classified as either orthodox or heterodox – āstika or nāstika – depending on one of three alternate criteria: whether it believes the Vedas as a valid source of knowledge. There are six major schools of orthodox Indian Hindu philosophy—Nyaya, Samkhya, Yoga, Mīmāṃsā and Vedanta, five major heterodox schools—Jain, Ajivika, Ajñana, Cārvāka. However, there are other methods of classification; the main schools of Indian philosophy were formalised chiefly between 1000 BCE to the early centuries of the Common Era. Competition and integration between the various schools was intense during their formative years between 800 BCE and 200 CE; some schools like Jainism, Yoga, Śaiva and Vedanta survived, but others, like Ajñana, Charvaka and Ājīvika did not. Ancient and medieval era texts of Indian philosophies include extensive discussions on Ontology, reliable means of knowledge, value system and other topics.
Indian philosophies share many concepts such as dharma, samsara, dukkha, meditation, with all of them focussing on the ultimate goal of liberation of the individual through diverse range of spiritual practices. They differ in their assumptions about the nature of existence as well as the specifics of the path to the ultimate liberation, resulting in numerous schools that disagreed with each other, their ancient doctrines span the diverse range of philosophies found in other ancient cultures. Many Hindu intellectual traditions were classified during the medieval period of Brahmanic-Sanskritic scholasticism into a standard list of six orthodox schools, the "Six Philosophies", all of which accept the testimony of the Vedas. Samkhya, the rationalism school with dualism and atheistic themes Yoga, a school similar to Samkhya but accepts defined theistic themes Nyaya, the realism school emphasizing analytics and logic Vaisheshika, the naturalism school with atomistic themes and related to the Nyaya school Purva Mimamsa, the ritualism school with Vedic exegesis and philology emphasis, Vedanta, the Upanishadic tradition, with many sub-schools ranging from dualism to nondualism.
These are coupled into three groups for both historical and conceptual reasons: Nyaya-Vaishesika, Samkhya-Yoga, Mimamsa-Vedanta. The Vedanta school is further divided into six sub-schools: Advaita includes the concept of Ajativada, Dvaita, Dvaitadvaita and Achintya Bheda Abheda schools. Besides these schools Mādhava Vidyāraṇya includes the following of the aforementioned theistic philosophies based on the Agamas and Tantras: Pasupata, school of Shaivism by Nakulisa Saiva, the theistic Sankhya school Pratyabhijña, the recognitive school Raseśvara, the mercurial school Pāṇini Darśana, the grammarian school The systems mentioned here are not the only orthodox systems, they are the chief ones, there are other orthodox schools; these systems, accept the authority of Vedas and are regarded as orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy. This orthodox-heterodox terminology is a construct of Western languages, lacks scholarly roots in Sanskrit. According to Andrew Nicholson, there have been various heresiological translations of Āstika and Nāstika in 20th century literature on Indian philosophies, but quite many are unsophisticated and flawed.
Cārvāka / Charvaka is a materialistic and atheistic school of thought and, is noteworthy as evidence of a materialistic movement within Hinduism. Several Śramaṇic movements have existed before the 6th century BCE, these influenced both the āstika and nāstika traditions of Indian philosophy; the Śramaṇa movement gave rise to diverse range of heterodox beliefs, ranging from accepting or denying the concept of soul, antinomian ethics, atheism, fatalism to free will, idealization of extreme asceticism to that of family life, strict ahimsa and vegetarianism to permissibility of violence and meat-eating. Notable philosophies that arose from Śramaṇic movement were Jainism, early Buddhism, Cārvāka, Ajñana and Ājīvika. Ajñana was one of the nāstika or "heterodox" schools of ancient Indian philosophy, the ancient school of radical Indian skepticism, it was a major rival of early Buddhism and Jainism. They have been recorded in Jain texts, they held that it was impossible to obtain knowledge of metaphysical nature or ascertain the truth value of philosophical propositions.
They were sophists who specialised in refutation without propagating any positive doctrine of their own. Jain philosophy is the oldest Indian philosophy. Jainism was revived and re-established after Mahavira, the last and the 24th Tirthankara and revived the philosophies and promulgations of the ancient Śramaṇic traditions laid down by the first Jain tirthankara Rishabhanatha millions of years
Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in the place, now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes; the history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age. Egypt reached the pinnacle of its power in the New Kingdom, ruling much of Nubia and a sizable portion of the Near East, after which it entered a period of slow decline. During the course of its history Egypt was invaded or conquered by a number of foreign powers, including the Hyksos, the Libyans, the Nubians, the Assyrians, the Achaemenid Persians, the Macedonians under the command of Alexander the Great; the Greek Ptolemaic Kingdom, formed in the aftermath of Alexander's death, ruled Egypt until 30 BC, under Cleopatra, it fell to the Roman Empire and became a Roman province.
The success of ancient Egyptian civilization came from its ability to adapt to the conditions of the Nile River valley for agriculture. The predictable flooding and controlled irrigation of the fertile valley produced surplus crops, which supported a more dense population, social development and culture. With resources to spare, the administration sponsored mineral exploitation of the valley and surrounding desert regions, the early development of an independent writing system, the organization of collective construction and agricultural projects, trade with surrounding regions, a military intended to assert Egyptian dominance. Motivating and organizing these activities was a bureaucracy of elite scribes, religious leaders, administrators under the control of a pharaoh, who ensured the cooperation and unity of the Egyptian people in the context of an elaborate system of religious beliefs; the many achievements of the ancient Egyptians include the quarrying and construction techniques that supported the building of monumental pyramids and obelisks.
Ancient Egypt has left a lasting legacy. Its art and architecture were copied, its antiquities carried off to far corners of the world, its monumental ruins have inspired the imaginations of writers for centuries. A new-found respect for antiquities and excavations in the early modern period by Europeans and Egyptians led to the scientific investigation of Egyptian civilization and a greater appreciation of its cultural legacy; the Nile has been the lifeline of its region for much of human history. The fertile floodplain of the Nile gave humans the opportunity to develop a settled agricultural economy and a more sophisticated, centralized society that became a cornerstone in the history of human civilization. Nomadic modern human hunter-gatherers began living in the Nile valley through the end of the Middle Pleistocene some 120,000 years ago. By the late Paleolithic period, the arid climate of Northern Africa became hot and dry, forcing the populations of the area to concentrate along the river region.
In Predynastic and Early Dynastic times, the Egyptian climate was much less arid. Large regions of Egypt were traversed by herds of grazing ungulates. Foliage and fauna were far more prolific in all environs and the Nile region supported large populations of waterfowl. Hunting would have been common for Egyptians, this is the period when many animals were first domesticated. By about 5500 BC, small tribes living in the Nile valley had developed into a series of cultures demonstrating firm control of agriculture and animal husbandry, identifiable by their pottery and personal items, such as combs and beads; the largest of these early cultures in upper Egypt was the Badari, which originated in the Western Desert. The Badari was followed by the Amratian and Gerzeh cultures, which brought a number of technological improvements; as early as the Naqada I Period, predynastic Egyptians imported obsidian from Ethiopia, used to shape blades and other objects from flakes. In Naqada II times, early evidence exists of contact with the Near East Canaan and the Byblos coast.
Over a period of about 1,000 years, the Naqada culture developed from a few small farming communities into a powerful civilization whose leaders were in complete control of the people and resources of the Nile valley. Establishing a power center at Nekhen, at Abydos, Naqada III leaders expanded their control of Egypt northwards along the Nile, they traded with Nubia to the south, the oases of the western desert to the west, the cultures of the eastern Mediterranean and Near East to the east, initiating a period of Egypt-Mesopotamia relations. The Naqada culture manufactured a diverse selection of material goods, reflective of the increasing power and wealth of the elite, as well as societal personal-use items, which included combs, small statuary, painted pottery, high quality decorative stone vases, cosmetic palettes, jewelry made of gold and ivory, they developed a ceramic glaze known as faience, used well into the Roman Per
Buddhist philosophy refers to the philosophical investigations and systems of inquiry that developed among various Buddhist schools in India following the death of the Buddha and spread throughout Asia. The Buddhist path combines meditation; the Buddhist traditions present a multitude of Buddhist paths to liberation, Buddhist thinkers in India and subsequently in East Asia have covered topics as varied as phenomenology, ontology, epistemology and philosophy of time in their analysis of these paths. Early Buddhism was based on empirical evidence gained by the sense organs and the Buddha seems to have retained a skeptical distance from certain metaphysical questions, refusing to answer them because they were not conducive to liberation but led instead to further speculation. A recurrent theme in Buddhist philosophy has been the reification of concepts, the subsequent return to the Buddhist Middle Way. Particular points of Buddhist philosophy have been the subject of disputes between different schools of Buddhism.
These elaborations and disputes gave rise to various schools in early Buddhism of Abhidharma, to the Mahayana traditions and schools of the prajnaparamita, Buddha-nature and Yogacara. Edward Conze splits the development of Indian Buddhist philosophy into three phases; the first phase concerns questions of the original doctrines derived from oral traditions that originated during the life of the Buddha, are common to all sects of Buddhism. The second phase concerns Hinayana "scholastic" Buddhism, as evident in the Abhidharma texts beginning in the third century BCE that feature scholastic reworking and schematic classification of material in the sutras; the third phase of development of Indian Buddhist philosophy concerns Mahayana "metaphysical" Buddhism, beginning in the late first century CE, which emphasizes monastic life and the path of a bodhisattva. Various elements of these three phases are incorporated and/or further developed in the philosophy and world view of the various sects of Buddhism that emerged.
Philosophy in India was aimed at spiritual liberation and had soteriological goals. In his study of Mādhyamaka Buddhist philosophy in India, Peter Deller Santina writes: Attention must first of all be drawn to the fact that philosophical systems in India were if purely speculative or descriptive. All the great philosophical systems of India: Sāṅkhya, Advaitavedānta, Mādhyamaka and so forth, were preeminently concerned with providing a means to liberation or salvation, it was a tacit assumption with these systems that if their philosophy were understood and assimilated, an unconditioned state free of suffering and limitation could be achieved. If this fact is overlooked, as happens as a result of the propensity engendered by formal Occidental philosophy to consider the philosophical enterprise as a purely descriptive one, the real significance of Indian and Buddhist philosophy will be missed. For the Indian Buddhist philosophers, the teachings of the Buddha were not meant to be taken on faith alone, but to be confirmed by logical analysis of the world.
The early Buddhist texts mention that a person becomes a follower of the Buddha's teachings after having pondered them over with wisdom and the gradual training requires that a disciple “investigate” and “scrutinize” the teachings. The Buddha expected his disciples to approach him as a teacher in a critical fashion and scrutinize his actions and words, as shown in the Vīmaṃsaka Sutta. Scholarly opinion varies; the Buddha was a north Indian sramana from Magadha. He cultivated various yogic techniques and ascetic practices and taught throughout north India, where his teachings took hold; these teachings are preserved in the Pali Nikayas and in the Agamas as well as in other surviving fragmentary textual collections. Dating these texts is difficult, there is disagreement on how much of this material goes back to a single religious founder. While the focus of the Buddha's teachings are about attaining the highest good of nirvana, they contain an analysis of the source of human suffering, the nature of personal identity, the process of acquiring knowledge about the world.
The Buddha defined his teaching as "the middle way". In the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, this is used to refer to the fact that his teachings steer a middle course between the extremes of asceticism and bodily denial and sensual hedonism or indulgence. Many sramanas of the Buddha's time placed much emphasis on a denial of the body, using practices such as fasting, to liberate the mind from the body; the Buddha however, realized that the mind was embodied and causally dependent on the body, therefore that a malnourished body did not allow the mind to be trained and developed. Thus, Buddhism's main concern is not with luxury or poverty, but instead with the human response to circumstances. Certain basic teachings appear in many places throughout these early texts, so older studies by various scholars conclude that the Buddha must at least have taught some of these key teachings: The Middle Way The four noble truths The Noble Eightfold Path Three marks of existence Five aggregates Dependent arising Karma and rebirth NirvanaCritical studies by Schmithausen, Bronkhorst and others have adjusted this list of basic teachings, revealed a more nuanced genesis of the Buddhist teachings.
According to Vetter, the description of the Buddhist path may have been as simple as the term "the middle way". In time, this short description was elaborated, resulting
Early Islamic philosophy
Early Islamic philosophy or classical Islamic philosophy is a period of intense philosophical development beginning in the 2nd century AH of the Islamic calendar and lasting until the 6th century AH. The period is known as the Islamic Golden Age, the achievements of this period had a crucial influence in the development of modern philosophy and science. For Renaissance Europe, "Muslim maritime and technological innovations, as well as much East Asian technology via the Muslim world, made their way to western Europe in one of the largest technology transfers in world history.” This period starts with al-Kindi in the 9th century and ends with Averroes at the end of 12th century. The death of Averroes marks the end of a particular discipline of Islamic philosophy called the Peripatetic Arabic School, philosophical activity declined in Western Islamic countries, namely in Islamic Spain and North Africa, though it persisted for much longer in the Eastern countries, in particular Persia and India where several schools of philosophy continued to flourish: Avicennism, Illuminationist philosophy, Mystical philosophy, Transcendent theosophy.
Some of the significant achievements of early Muslim philosophers included the development of a strict science of citation, the isnad or "backing". Saadia Gaon, David ben Merwan al-Mukkamas and Thomas Aquinas, were influenced by the Mutazilite work Avicennism and Averroism, the Renaissance and the use of empirical methods were inspired at least in part by Arabic translations of Greek, Jewish and Egyptian works translated into Latin during the Renaissance of the 12th century, taken during the Reconquista in 1492. Early Islamic philosophy can be divided into clear sets of influences, branches and fields, as described below; the life of Muhammad or sira which generated both the Qur'an and hadith, during which philosophy was defined by Muslims as consisting in acceptance or rejection of his message. Together the sira and hadith constitute the sunnah and are validated by isnad to determine the truth of the report of any given saying of Muhammad. Key figures are Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq, Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim, Al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Abu Dawud and Al-Nasa'i.
Each sifted through millions of hadith to accept a list of under 1. This work, not completed until the 10th century, began shortly after The Farewell Sermon in 631. Ilm al-Kalām is the Islamic philosophical discipline of seeking theological principles through dialectic. Kalām in Islamic practice relates to the discipline of seeking theological knowledge through debate and argument. A scholar of kalām is referred to as a mutakallim. With Kalam, questions about the sira and hadith, as well as science and law, began to be investigated beyond the scope of Muhammad's beliefs; this period is characterized by emergence of the first fiqh. As the Sunnah became published and accepted, philosophy separate from Muslim theology was discouraged due to a lack of participants. During this period, traditions similar to Socratic method began to evolve, but philosophy remained subordinate to religion. Independent minds exploiting the methods of ijtihad sought to investigate the doctrines of the Qur'an, which until had been accepted in faith on the authority of divine revelation.
One of the first debates was that between partisan of the Qadar, who affirmed free will, the Jabarites, who maintained the belief in fatalism. At the 2nd century of the Hijra, a new movement arose in the theological school of Iraq. A pupil, Wasil ibn Ata, expelled from the school of Hasan of Basra because his answers were contrary to orthodox Islamic tradition and became leader of a new school, systematized the radical opinions of preceding sects those of the Qadarites; this new school was called Mutazilite. Its principal dogmas were three: God is an absolute unity, no attribute can be ascribed to Him. Man is a free agent, it is on account of these two principles that the Mu'tazilities designate themselves the "Partisans of Justice and Unity". All knowledge necessary for the salvation of man emanates from his reason. Thi
Modern philosophy is philosophy developed in the modern era and associated with modernity. It is not a specific doctrine or school, although there are certain assumptions common to much of it, which helps to distinguish it from earlier philosophy; the 17th and early 20th centuries mark the beginning and the end of modern philosophy. How much of the Renaissance should be included is a matter for dispute. How one decides these questions will determine the scope of one's use of "modern philosophy." How much of Renaissance intellectual history is part of modern philosophy is disputed: the Early Renaissance is considered less modern and more medieval compared to the High Renaissance. By the 17th and 18th centuries the major figures in philosophy of mind and metaphysics were divided into two main groups; the "Rationalists," in France and Germany, argued all knowledge must begin from certain "innate ideas" in the mind. Major rationalists were Descartes, Baruch Spinoza, Gottfried Leibniz, Nicolas Malebranche.
The "Empiricists," by contrast, held. Major figures in this line of thought are John Locke, George Berkeley, David Hume. Ethics and political philosophy are not subsumed under these categories, though all these philosophers worked in ethics, in their own distinctive styles. Other important figures in political philosophy include Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In the late eighteenth century Immanuel Kant set forth a groundbreaking philosophical system which claimed to bring unity to rationalism and empiricism. Whether or not he was right, he did not succeed in ending philosophical dispute. Kant sparked a storm of philosophical work in Germany in the early nineteenth century, beginning with German idealism; the characteristic theme of idealism was that the world and the mind must be understood according to the same categories. Hegel's work was carried in many directions by his critics. Karl Marx appropriated both Hegel's philosophy of history and the empirical ethics dominant in Britain, transforming Hegel's ideas into a materialist form, setting the grounds for the development of a science of society.
Søren Kierkegaard, in contrast, dismissed all systematic philosophy as an inadequate guide to life and meaning. For Kierkegaard, life is meant to be lived, not a mystery to be solved. Arthur Schopenhauer took idealism to the conclusion that the world was nothing but the futile endless interplay of images and desires, advocated atheism and pessimism. Schopenhauer's ideas were taken up and transformed by Nietzsche, who seized upon their various dismissals of the world to proclaim "God is dead" and to reject all systematic philosophy and all striving for a fixed truth transcending the individual. Nietzsche found in this not the possibility of a new kind of freedom. 19th-century British philosophy came to be dominated by strands of neo-Hegelian thought, as a reaction against this, figures such as Bertrand Russell and George Edward Moore began moving in the direction of analytic philosophy, an updating of traditional empiricism to accommodate the new developments in logic of the German mathematician Gottlob Frege.
Renaissance humanism opposed dogma and scholasticism. This new interest in human activities led to the development of political science with The Prince of Niccolò Macchiavelli. Humanists differed from Medieval scholars because they saw the natural world as mathematically ordered and pluralistic, instead of thinking of it in terms of purposes and goals. Renaissance philosophy is best explained by two propositions made by Leonardo da Vinci in his notebooks: All of our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions There is no certainty where one can neither apply any of the mathematical sciences nor any of those which are based upon the mathematical sciences. In a similar way, Galieo based his scientific method on experiments but developed mathematical methods for application to problems in physics; these two ways to conceive human knowledge formed the background for the principle of Empiricism and Rationalism respectively. Pico della Mirandola Nicolas of Cusa Giordano Bruno Galileo Galilei Niccolò Macchiavelli Michel de Montaigne Francisco Suárez Modern philosophy traditionally begins with René Descartes and his dictum "I think, therefore I am".
In the early seventeenth century the bulk of philosophy was dominated by Scholasticism, written by theologians and drawing upon Plato and early Church writings. Descartes argued that many predominant Scholastic metaphysical doctrines were false. In short, he proposed to begin philosophy from scratch. In his most important work, Meditations on First Philosophy, he attempts just this, over six brief essays, he tries to set aside as much as he can of all his beliefs, to determine what if anything he knows for certain. He finds that he can doubt nearly everything: the reality of physical objects, his memories, science mathematics, but he cannot doubt that he is, in fact, doubting, he knows what he is thinking about if it is not true, he knows that he is there thinking about it. From this basis he builds his knowledge back up again, he finds that some of the ideas he has could not have
Jain philosophy is the oldest Indian philosophy that separates body from the soul completely. Jain philosophy deals with reality, cosmology and Vitalism, it attempts to explain the rationale of being and existence, the nature of the Universe and its constituents, the nature of soul's bondage with body and the means to achieve liberation. Jain texts expound that in every half-cycle of time, twenty-four tirthankaras grace this part of the Universe to teach the unchanging doctrine of right faith, right knowledge and right conduct. Jain philosophy means the teachings of a Tirthankara; the distinguishing features of Jain philosophy are:- Belief on independent existence of soul and matter. Refutation of the idea that a supreme divine creator, preserver or destroyer of the universe exists. Potency of karma, eternal universe. Accent on relativity and multiple facets of truth and Morality and ethics based on liberation of soul. Jainism upholds the individualistic nature of soul and personal responsibility for one's decisions.
According to the Jain texts, the vitalities or life-principles are ten, namely the five senses, respiration, life-duration, the organ of speech, the mind. The table below summaries the vitalities, living beings possess in accordance to their senses. In the animal world, the five-sensed beings without mind have nine life-principles with the addition of the sense of hearing; those endowed with mind have ten with the addition of the mind. According to Tattvarthasutra, a major Jain text, "the severance of vitalities out of passion is injury". According to the Purushartha Siddhyupaya, "non-manifestation of passions like attachment is non-injury, manifestation of such passions is injury." This is termed as the essence of the Jaina Scriptures. Vegetarianism and other nonviolent practices and rituals of Jains flow from the principle of ahiṃsā. Jain philosophy postulates; these are:- Jīva-The soul substance, said to have a separate existence from the body that houses it. Jīva is characterised by upayoga.
Though the soul experiences both birth and death, it is neither destroyed nor created. Decay and origin refer to the disappearing of one state of soul and appearance of another state, these being the modes of the soul substance. Ajīva- the non-soul āsrava - inflow of auspicious and evil karmic matter into the soul. Bandha - mutual intermingling of the soul and karmas. Samvara - obstruction of the inflow of karmic matter into the soul. Nirjara - separation or falling off of part of karmic matter from the soul. Mokṣha - complete annihilation of all karmic matter; the knowledge of these reals is said to be essential for the liberation of the soul. According to the Jain philosophy, the world is full of hiṃsā. Therefore, one should direct all his efforts in attainment of moksha. According to the Jain text, Tattvartha sutra:Right faith, right knowledge, right conduct constitute the path to liberation. Right Faith means belief in substances like soul and non-soul without misapprehension. Right Knowledge - When the nature of reality is ascertained with the help of the doctrine of manifold points of view, the knowledge thus obtained is said to be the Right Knowledge.
Right Conduct -The nature of the soul. It is achieved by abjuring all sinful activities of the body, the speech, the mind. Jain text mention about the following stages of spiritual development: Those who pass the last stage are called siddha and become established in Right Faith, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct. According to Jainas, the world is composed of two different kinds of substances, the Jīva and the ajīva; these are the uncreated existing constituents of the Universe which impart the necessary dynamics to the Universe by interacting with each other. These constituents behave according to the natural laws and their nature without interference from external entities. Dharma or true religion according to Jainism is Vatthu sahāvō dhammō translated as "the intrinsic nature of a substance is its true dharma." The five unconscious substances are: Pudgala – It is non living Matter, classified as solid, gaseous, fine Karmic materials and extra-fine matter or ultimate particles. Paramānu or ultimate particles are the basic building block of matter.
It possesses at all times four qualities, namely, a color, a taste, a smell, a certain kind of palpability. One of the qualities of the Paramānu and Pudgala is that of indestructibility, it combines and changes its modes but its basic qualities remain the same. According to Jainism, it destroyed. Dharma – and Adharma – Also known as Dharmāstikāya and Adharmāstikāya, they are unique to Jain thought depicting the principles of motion and rest, they are said to pervade the entire universe. Dharma and Adharma are by themselves not motion or rest but mediate motion and rest in other bodies. Without dharmāstikāya motion is not possible and without adharmāstikāya rest is not possible in the universe. Ākāśa: Space – Space is a substance that accommoda
Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn period and Warring States period, during a period known as the "Hundred Schools of Thought", characterized by significant intellectual and cultural developments. Although much of Chinese philosophy begins in the Warring States period, elements of Chinese philosophy have existed for several thousand years, it was during the Warring States era that what Sima Tan termed the major philosophical schools of China: Confucianism and Taoism, along with philosophies that fell into obscurity, like Agriculturalism, Chinese Naturalism, the Logicians. Early Shang dynasty thought was based upon cycles; this notion stems from what the people of the Shang Dynasty could observe around them: day and night cycled, the seasons progressed again and again, the moon waxed and waned until it waxed again. Thus, this notion, which remained relevant throughout Chinese history, reflects the order of nature. In juxtaposition, it marks a fundamental distinction from western philosophy, in which the dominant view of time is a linear progression.
During the Shang, fate could be manipulated by great deities translated as gods. Ancestor worship was universally recognized. There was human and animal sacrifice; when the Shang were overthrown by the Zhou, a new political and philosophical concept was introduced called the "Mandate of Heaven". This mandate was said to be taken when rulers became unworthy of their position and provided a shrewd justification for Zhou rule. During this period, archaeological evidence points to an increase in literacy and a partial shift away from the faith placed in Shangdi, with ancestor worship becoming commonplace and a more worldly orientation coming to the fore. Confucianism developed during the Spring and Autumn period from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius, who considered himself a retransmitter of Zhou values, his philosophy concerns the fields of ethics and politics, emphasizing personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity. The Analects stress the importance of ritual, but the importance of'ren', which loosely translates as'human-heartedness, along with Legalism, is responsible for creating the world’s first meritocracy, which holds that one's status should be determined by education and character rather than ancestry, wealth, or friendship.
Confucianism was and continues to be a major influence in Chinese culture, the state of China and the surrounding areas of East Asia. Before the Han dynasty the largest rivals to Confucianism were Chinese Legalism, Mohism. Confucianism became the dominant philosophical school of China during the early Han dynasty following the replacement of its contemporary, the more Taoistic Huang-Lao. Legalism as a coherent philosophy disappeared due to its relationship with the unpopular authoritarian rule of Qin Shi Huang, many of its ideas and institutions would continue to influence Chinese philosophy until the end of Imperial rule during the Xinhai Revolution. Mohism, though popular due to its emphasis on brotherly love versus harsh Qin Legalism, fell out of favour during the Han Dynasty due to the efforts of Confucians in establishing their views as political orthodoxy; the Six Dynasties era saw the rise of the Xuanxue philosophical school and the maturation of Chinese Buddhism, which had entered China from India during the Late Han Dynasties.
By the time of the Tang dynasty five-hundred years after Buddhism's arrival into China, it had transformed into a Chinese religious philosophy dominated by the school of Zen Buddhism. Neo-Confucianism became popular during the Song dynasty and Ming Dynasty due in large part to the eventual combination of Confucian and Zen Philosophy. During the 19th and 20th centuries, Chinese philosophy integrated concepts from Western philosophy. Anti-Qing dynasty revolutionaries, involved in the Xinhai Revolution, saw Western philosophy as an alternative to traditional philosophical schools. During this era, Chinese scholars attempted to incorporate Western philosophical ideologies such as democracy, socialism, republicanism and nationalism into Chinese philosophy; the most notable examples are Sun Yat-Sen's Three Principles of the People ideology and Mao Zedong's Maoism, a variant of Marxism–Leninism. In the modern People's Republic of China, the official ideology is Deng Xiaoping's "market economy socialism".
Although the People's Republic of China has been hostile to the philosophy of ancient China, the influences of past are still ingrained in the Chinese culture. In the post-Chinese economic reform era, modern Chinese philosophy has reappeared in forms such as the New Confucianism; as in Japan, philosophy in China has become a melting pot of ideas. It accepts new concepts, while attempting to accord old beliefs their due. Chinese philosophy still carries profound influence amongst the people of East Asia, Southeast Asia. Around 500 BCE, after the Zhou state weakened and China moved into the Spring and Autumn period, the classic period of Chinese philosophy began; this is known as the Hundred Schools of Thought. This period is considered the golden age of Chinese philosophy. Of the many schools founded at this time and during the subsequent Warring States period, the four most