Compare and contrast the origins and ideas of Confucianism, Legalism, and Daoism. How did each relate to supernatural beliefs? 

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Legalism, Daoism, and Confucianism all come from the same period during the Zhou Dynasty: the Era of Warring States. Zhou China was feudal and decentralized, with families and nobles claiming land and offering protection. This fractured state was plagued with war, and in the general chaos of the time the three philosophies were formed.

Legalism sought to centralize China by putting in place a system of laws based on punishment and reward. This was best implemented in the Qin Dynasty by Qin Shi Huangdi.  

Confucianism sought to centralize China by implementing a moral/social system based in ethics. Confucianists believed in five main principles: rites and ritual (li), humaneness and benevolence (ren), empathy (shu), righteousness (yi), and filial piety (xiao). There was a clear hierarchical social system based on age and gender, and it helped organize the chaos left over from the Era of Warring States.

Daoism, unlike the other two, rejected manmade laws and customs. For Daoists, nature is...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 532 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team