Contemporary philosophy is the present period in the history of Western philosophy beginning at the early 20th century with the increasing professionalization of the discipline and the rise of analytic and continental philosophy. The phrase "contemporary philosophy" is a piece of technical terminology in philosophy that refers to a specific period in the history of Western philosophy. However, the phrase is confused with modern philosophy, postmodern philosophy, with a non-technical use of the phrase referring to any recent philosophic work. Professionalization is the social process by which any trade or occupation establishes the group norms of conduct, acceptable qualifications for membership of the profession, a professional body or association to oversee the conduct of members of the profession, some degree of demarcation of the qualified from unqualified amateurs; the transformation into a profession brings about many subtle changes to a field of inquiry, but one more identifiable component of professionalization is the increasing irrelevance of "the book" to the field: "research communiqués will begin to change in ways whose modern end products are obvious to all and oppressive to many.
No longer will researches be embodied in books addressed to anyone who might be interested in the subject matter of the field. Instead they will appear as brief articles addressed only to professional colleagues, the men whose knowledge of a shared paradigm can be assumed and who prove to be the only one able to read the papers addressed to them." Philosophy underwent this process toward the end of the 19th century, it is one of the key distinguishing features of the contemporary philosophy era in Western philosophy. Germany was the first country to professionalize philosophy. At the end of 1817, Hegel was the first philosopher to be appointed professor by the State, namely by the Prussian Minister of Education, as an effect of Napoleonic reform in Prussia. In the United States, the professionalisation grew out of reforms to the American higher-education system based on the German model. James Campbell describes the professionalisation of philosophy in America as follows: The list of specific changes is brief, but the resultant shift is total.
No longer could the professor function as a defender of the faith or an expounder of Truth. The new philosopher had to be a publicizer of results; this shift was made obvious when certified philosophy Ph. D.'s replaced theology graduates and ministers in the philosophy classroom. The period between the time when no one had a Ph. D. to when everyone did was brief. The doctorate, was more than a license to teach: it was a certificate that the prospective philosophy instructor was well, if narrowly and ready to undertake independent work in the now specializing and restricted field of academic philosophy; these new philosophers functioned in independent departments of philosophy They were making real gains in their research, creating a body of philosophic work that remains central to our study now. These new philosophers set their own standards for success, publishing in the recognized organs of philosophy that were being founded at the time: The Monist, The International Journal of Ethics, The Philosophical Review, The Journal of Philosophy and Scientific Methods.
And, of course, these philosophers were banding together into societies – the American Psychological Association, the Western Philosophical Association, the American Philosophical Association – to consolidate their academic positions and advance their philosophic work. Professionalization in England was tied to developments in higher-education. In his work on T. H. Green, Denys Leighton discusses these changes in British philosophy and Green's claim to the title of Britain's first professional academic philosopher: Henry Sidgwick, in a generous gesture, identified Green as Britain's first professional academic philosopher. Sidgwick's opinion can be questioned: William Hamilton, J. F. Ferrier and Sidgwick himself are among the contenders for that honour, yet there can be no doubt that between the death of Mill and the publication of G. E. Moore's Principia Ethica, the British philosophical profession was transformed, that Green was responsible for the transformation. Bentham, the Mills, Coleridge, Spencer, as well as many other serious philosophical thinkers of the nineteenth century were men of letters, active politicians, clergy with livings, but not academics.
Green helped separate the study of philosophical from that of historical texts. When Green began his academic career much of the serious writing on philosophical topic was published in journals of opinion devoted to a broad range of, he helped professionalize philosophical writing by encouraging specialized periodicals, such as'Academy' and'Mind', which were to serve as venues for the results of scholarly research. The end result of professionalization for philosophy has meant that work being done in the field is now exclusively done by university professors holding a doctorate in the field publishing in technical, peer-reviewed journals. While
Two terms traditionally used in the Islamic world are sometimes translated as philosophy—falsafa, which refers to philosophy as well as logic and physics. Early Islamic philosophy began with al-Kindi in the 2nd century of the Islamic calendar and ended with Averroes in the 6th century AH, broadly coinciding with the period known as the Golden Age of Islam; the death of Averroes marked the end of a particular discipline of Islamic philosophy called the Peripatetic Arabic School, philosophical activity declined in Western Islamic countries such as Islamic Iberia and North Africa. Islamic philosophy persisted for much longer in Muslim Eastern countries, in particular Safavid Persia and Mughal Empires, where several schools of philosophy continued to flourish: Avicennism, Illuminationist philosophy, Mystical philosophy, Transcendent theosophy, Isfahan philosophy. Ibn Khaldun, in his Muqaddimah, made important contributions to the philosophy of history. Interest in Islamic philosophy revived during the Nahda movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, continues to the present day.
Islamic philosophy had a major impact in Christian Europe, where translation of Arabic philosophical texts into Latin "led to the transformation of all philosophical disciplines in the medieval Latin world", with a strong influence of Muslim philosophers being felt in natural philosophy and metaphysics. Islamic philosophy refers to philosophy produced in an Islamic society. Islamic philosophy is a generic term that can be used in different ways. In its broadest sense it means the world view of Islam, as derived from the Islamic texts concerning the creation of the universe and the will of the Creator. In another sense it refers to any of the schools of thought that flourished under the Islamic empire or in the shadow of the Arab-Islamic culture and Islamic civilization. In its narrowest sense it is a translation of Falsafa, meaning those particular schools of thought that most reflect the influence of Greek systems of philosophy such as Neoplatonism and Aristotelianism, it is not concerned with religious issues, nor produced by Muslims.
Nor do all schools of thought within Islam admit the usefulness or legitimacy of philosophical inquiry. Some argue that there is no indication that the limited knowledge and experience of humans can lead to truth, it is important to observe that, while "reason" is sometimes recognised as a source of Islamic law, this may have a different meaning from "reason" in philosophy. The historiography of Islamic philosophy is marked by disputes as to how the subject should be properly interpreted; some of the key issues involve the comparative importance of eastern intellectuals such as Ibn Sina and of western thinkers such as Ibn Rushd, whether Islamic philosophy can be read at face value or should be interpreted in an esoteric fashion. Supporters of the latter thesis, like Leo Strauss, maintain that Islamic philosophers wrote so as to conceal their true meaning in order to avoid religious persecution, but scholars such as Oliver Leaman disagree; the main sources of classical or early Islamic philosophy are the religion of Islam itself and Greek philosophy which the early Muslims inherited as a result of conquests, along with pre-Islamic Indian philosophy and Persian philosophy.
Many of the early philosophical debates centered around reconciling religion and reason, the latter exemplified by Greek philosophy. Some Muslims oppose the idea of philosophy as un-Islamic; the popular Salafist website IslamQA.info declares philosophy to be an "alien entity": The terminology of Islamic philosophy did not emerge as a branch of knowledge, taught in the curriculum of Islamic studies until it was introduced by Shaykh Mustafa Abd al-Raziq – the Shaykh of al-Azhar – as a reaction to western attacks on Islam based on the idea that Islam has no philosophy. But the fact of the matter is; the fatwa claims that "the majority of fuqaha’ have stated that it is haraam to study philosophy, lists some of these: Ibn Nujaym writing in al-Ashbaah wa’l-Nazaa’im. Maani’ Hammad al-Juhani, is quoted as declaring that because philosophy does not follow the moral guidelines of the Sunnah, "philosophy, as defined by the philosophers, is one of the most dangerous falsehoods and most vicious in fighting faith and religion on the basis of logic, which it is easy to use to confuse people in the name of reason and metaphor that distort the religious texts".
Ibn Abi al-Izz, a commentator on al-Tahhaawiyyah, condemns philosophers as the ones who "most deny the Last Day and its events. In their view Paradise and Hell are no more than parables for the masses to understand, but they have no reality beyond people’s minds." In early Islamic
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
Epistemology is the branch of philosophy concerned with the theory of knowledge. Epistemology is the study of the nature of knowledge and the rationality of belief. Much debate in epistemology centers on four areas: the philosophical analysis of the nature of knowledge and how it relates to such concepts as truth and justification, various problems of skepticism, the sources and scope of knowledge and justified belief, the criteria for knowledge and justification. Epistemology addresses such questions as: "What makes justified beliefs justified?", "What does it mean to say that we know something?", fundamentally "How do we know that we know?" In mathematics, it is known that 2 + 2 = 4, but there is knowing how to add two numbers, knowing a person, thing, or activity. Some philosophers think there is an important distinction between "knowing that", "knowing how", "acquaintance-knowledge", with epistemology being concerned with the first of these. While these distinctions are not explicit in English, they are defined explicitly in other languages.
In French, Spanish and Dutch'to know' is translated using connaître, conhecer and kennen whereas'to know' is translated using savoir, saber and weten. Modern Greek has the verbs γνωρίζω and ξέρω. Italian has the verbs conoscere and sapere and the nouns for'knowledge' are conoscenza and sapienza. German has kennen; the verb itself implies a process: you have to go from one state to another, from a state of "not-erkennen" to a state of true erkennen. This verb seems the most appropriate in terms of describing the "episteme" in one of the modern European languages, hence the German name "Erkenntnistheorie"; the theoretical interpretation and significance of these linguistic issues remains controversial. In his paper On Denoting and his book Problems of Philosophy Bertrand Russell stressed the distinction between "knowledge by description" and "knowledge by acquaintance". Gilbert Ryle is credited with stressing the distinction between knowing how and knowing that in The Concept of Mind. In Personal Knowledge, Michael Polanyi argues for the epistemological relevance of knowledge how and knowledge that.
This position is Ryle's, who argued that a failure to acknowledge the distinction between knowledge that and knowledge how leads to infinite regress. In recent times, epistemologists including Sosa, Kvanvig and Duncan Pritchard have argued that epistemology should evaluate people's "properties" and not just the properties of propositions or of propositional mental attitudes. In common speech, a "statement of belief" is an expression of faith or trust in a person, power or other entity—while it includes such traditional views, epistemology is concerned with what we believe; this includes'the' truth, everything else we accept as'true' for ourselves from a cognitive point of view. Whether someone's belief is true is not a prerequisite for belief. On the other hand, if something is known it categorically cannot be false. For example, if a person believes that a bridge is safe enough to support her, attempts to cross it, but the bridge collapses under her weight, it could be said that she believed that the bridge was safe but that her belief was mistaken.
It would not be accurate to say. By contrast, if the bridge supported her weight the person might say that she had believed the bridge was safe, whereas now, after proving it to herself, she knows it was safe. Epistemologists argue over; some would rather describe knowledge as a system of justified true propositions, others as a system of justified true sentences. Plato, in his Gorgias, argues that belief is the most invoked truth-bearer. In the Theaetetus, Socrates considers a number of theories as to what knowledge is, the last being that knowledge is true belief "with an account". According to the theory that knowledge is justified true belief, to know that a given proposition is true, one must not only believe the relevant true proposition, but have a good reason for doing so. One implication of this would be that no one would gain knowledge just by believing something that happened to be true. For example, an ill person with no medical training, but with a optimistic attitude, might believe that he will recover from his illness quickly.
If this belief turned out to be true, the patient would not have known that he would get well since hi
Aristotelianism is a tradition of philosophy that takes its defining inspiration from the work of Aristotle. This school of thought, in the modern sense of philosophy, covers existence, ethics and related subjects. In Aristotle's time, philosophy included natural philosophy, which preceded the advent of modern science during the Scientific Revolution; the works of Aristotle were defended by the members of the Peripatetic school and on by the Neoplatonists, who produced many commentaries on Aristotle's writings. In the Islamic Golden Age and Averroes translated the works of Aristotle into Arabic and under them, along with philosophers such as Al-Kindi and Al-Farabi, Aristotelianism became a major part of early Islamic philosophy. Moses Maimonides adopted Aristotelianism from the Islamic scholars and based his famous Guide for the Perplexed on it and that became the basis of Jewish scholastic philosophy. Although some of Aristotle's logical works were known to western Europe, it was not until the Latin translations of the 12th century that the works of Aristotle and his Arabic commentators became available.
Scholars such as Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas interpreted and systematized Aristotle's works in accordance with Christian theology. After retreating under criticism from modern natural philosophers, the distinctively Aristotelian idea of teleology was transmitted through Wolff and Kant to Hegel, who applied it to history as a totality. Although this project was criticized by Trendelenburg and Brentano as non-Aristotelian, Hegel's influence is now said to be responsible for an important Aristotelian influence upon Marx. Postmodernists, in contrast, reject Aristotelianism's claim to reveal important theoretical truths. In this, they follow Heidegger's critique of Aristotle as the greatest source of the entire tradition of Western philosophy. Recent Aristotelian ethical and "practical" philosophy, such as that of Gadamer and McDowell, is premissed upon a rejection of Aristotelianism's traditional metaphysical or theoretical philosophy. From this viewpoint, the early modern tradition of political republicanism, which views the res publica, public sphere or state as constituted by its citizens' virtuous activity, can appear Aristotelian.
The most famous contemporary Aristotelian philosopher is Alasdair MacIntyre. Famous for helping to revive virtue ethics in his book After Virtue, MacIntyre revises Aristotelianism with the argument that the highest temporal goods, which are internal to human beings, are actualized through participation in social practices, he juxtaposes Aristotelianism with the managerial institutions of capitalism and its state, with rival traditions — including the philosophies of Hume and Nietzsche — that reject Aristotle's idea of human goods and virtues and instead legitimate capitalism. Therefore, on MacIntyre's account, Aristotelianism is not identical with Western philosophy as a whole. Politically and it has been characterized as a newly "revolutionary Aristotelianism"; this may be contrasted with the more conventional and conservative uses of Aristotle by, for example, Gadamer and McDowell. Other important contemporary Aristotelian theorists include Fred D. Miller, Jr. in politics and Rosalind Hursthouse in ethics.
The original followers of Aristotle were the members of the Peripatetic school. The most prominent members of the school after Aristotle were Theophrastus and Strato of Lampsacus, who both continued Aristotle's researches. During the Roman era the school concentrated on defending his work; the most important figure in this regard was Alexander of Aphrodisias who commentated on Aristotle's writings. With the rise of Neoplatonism in the 3rd century, Peripateticism as an independent philosophy came to an end, but the Neoplatonists sought to incorporate Aristotle's philosophy within their own system, produced many commentaries on Aristotle. Byzantine Aristotelianism emerged in the Byzantine Empire in the form of Aristotelian paraphrase: adaptations in which Aristotle's text is rephrased and pruned, in order to make it more understood; this genre was invented by Themistius in the mid-4th century, revived by Michael Psellos in the mid-11th century, further developed by Sophonias in the late 13th to early 14th centuries.
Leo the Mathematician was appointed to the chair of philosophy at the Magnaura School in the mid-9th century to teach Aristotelian logic. The 11th and 12th centuries saw the emergence of twelfth-century Byzantine Aristotelianism. Before the 12th century, the whole Byzantine output of Aristotelian commentaries was focused on logic. However, the range of subjects covered by the Aristotelian commentaries produced in the two decades after 1118 is much greater due to the initiative of the princess Anna Comnena who commissioned a number of scholars to write commentaries on neglected works of Aristotle. In the Abbasid Empire, many foreign works were translated into Arabic, large libraries were constructed, scholars were welcomed. Under the caliphs Harun al-Rashid and his son Al-Ma'mun, the House of Wisdom in Baghdad flourished. Christian scholar Hunayn ibn Ishaq was placed in charge of the translation work by the caliph. In his lifetime, Ishaq translated 116 writings, including works by Plato and Aristotle, into Syriac and Arabic.
With the founding of House of Wisdom, the entire corpus of Aristotelian works, preserved became available, along with its Greek commentators.
Platonism, rendered as a proper noun, is the philosophy of Plato or the name of other philosophical systems considered derived from it. In narrower usage, rendered as a common noun, refers to the philosophy that affirms the existence of abstract objects, which are asserted to "exist" in a "third realm" distinct both from the sensible external world and from the internal world of consciousness, is the opposite of nominalism. Lower case "platonists" need not accept any of the doctrines of Plato. In a narrower sense, the term might indicate the doctrine of Platonic realism; the central concept of Platonism, a distinction essential to the Theory of Forms, is the distinction between the reality, perceptible but unintelligible, the reality, imperceptible but intelligible. The forms are described in dialogues such as the Phaedo and Republic as transcendent perfect archetypes of which objects in the everyday world are imperfect copies. In the Republic the highest form is identified as the Form of the Good, the source of all other forms, which could be known by reason.
In the Sophist, a work, the forms being and difference are listed among the primordial "Great Kinds". In the 3rd century BC, Arcesilaus adopted skepticism, which became a central tenet of the school until 90 BC when Antiochus added Stoic elements, rejected skepticism, began a period known as Middle Platonism. In the 3rd century AD, Plotinus added mystical elements, establishing Neoplatonism, in which the summit of existence was the One or the Good, the source of all things. Platonism had a profound effect on Western thought, many Platonic notions were adopted by the Christian church which understood Plato's forms as God's thoughts, while Neoplatonism became a major influence on Christian mysticism, in the West through St Augustine, Doctor of the Catholic Church whose Christian writings were influenced by Plotinus' Enneads, in turn were foundations for the whole of Western Christian thought; the primary concept is the Theory of Forms. The only true being is founded upon the forms, the eternal, perfect types, of which particular objects of moral and responsible sense are imperfect copies.
The multitude of objects of sense, being involved in perpetual change, are thereby deprived of all genuine existence. The number of the forms is defined by the number of universal concepts which can be derived from the particular objects of sense; the following excerpt may be representative of Plato's middle period metaphysics and epistemology: "Since the beautiful is opposite of the ugly, they are two." "Of course." "And since they are two, each is one?" "I grant that also." "And the same account is true of the just and unjust, the good and the bad, all the forms. Each of them is itself one, but because they manifest themselves everywhere in association with actions and one another, each of them appears to be many." "That's right." "So, I draw this distinction: On one side are those you just now called lovers of sights, lovers of crafts, practical people. "How do you mean?" "The lovers of sights and sounds like beautiful sounds, colors and everything fashioned out of them, but their thought is unable to see and embrace the nature of the beautiful itself."
"That's for sure." "In fact, there are few people who would be able to reach the beautiful itself and see it by itself. Isn't that so?" "Certainly." "What about someone who believes in beautiful things, but doesn't believe in the beautiful itself and isn't able to follow anyone who could lead him to the knowledge of it? Don't you think he is living in a dream rather than a wakened state? Isn't this dreaming: whether asleep or awake, to think that a likeness is not a likeness but rather the thing itself that it is like?" "I think that someone who does, dreaming." "But someone who, to take the opposite case, believes in the beautiful itself, can see both it and the things that participate in it and doesn't believe that the participants are it or that it itself is the participants--is he living in a dream or is he awake? "He's much awake." Book VI of the Republic identifies the highest form as the Form of the Good, the cause of all other Ideas, that on which the being and knowing of all other Forms is contingent.
Conceptions derived from the impressions of sense can never give us the knowledge of true being. It can only be obtained by the soul's activity within itself, apart from the troubles and disturbances of sense. Dialectic, as the instrument in this process, leading us to knowledge of the forms, to the highest form of the Good, is the first of sciences. Neoplatonism, beginning with Plotinus, identified the Good of the Republic with the so-called transcendent, absolute One of the first hypothesis of the Parmenides. Platonist ethics is based on the Form of the Good. Virtue is the recognition of the supreme form of the good. And, since in this cognition, the three parts of the soul, which are reason and appetite, all have their share, we get the three virtues, Wisdom and Moderation; the bond which unites the other virtues is the virtue of Justice, by which each part of the soul is confined to the performance of its proper function. Platonism had a profound effect on Western thought. In many interpretations of the Timaeus Platonism, like Aristotelianism, poses an eternal universe, as opposed to the nearby Judaic tradition that the universe had bee
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