Explain the core concepts of East Asian thought


Prompt 2 Directions:

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• Use standard formatting with: – Double spacing, – 11 or 12 point font (Times, Helvetica, Calibri, etc.), – 1 inch margins, – No more than 1 inch of space dedicated to title and header, – No extraneous space between paragraphs or headers.

• Please include the number of the prompt you are responding to.

• Cite lecture and class readings where appropriate; – Include a bibliography and in-text citations, – You may use any standard citation style, (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.), – Please do not use outside sources, – Plagiarism will not be tolerated.

• Please do not include pictures, charts, or figures in your responses. Please do not copy / paste lecture notes into the text of your response.

• Please stay on topic.

-Sources: Yao and lectures

-PLEASE include the lecture note in the text and use in-text citation.


• Yao, X. 2000. An Introduction to Confucianism. Cambridge University Press.


Lecture Notes- Core Concepts:

1. Self-Cultivation is one of the areas that East Asia practices, it’s a tradition. (Lecture, 10/1)

  • Human Nature as Tendeatial (tendency that has the potential for rational and cooperative behavior). However, human nature can become degenerative and evil (evil meaning destructive, the absence of human good). You do it by the Power of Personal Responsibility, the first step in empowering yourself is to develop yourself, you have to accept personal responsibility for your development, you can not be a victim, you can not say I was poor and couldn’t do anything; you have to say I have a problem, how can I become the best person I can be. The “superior” person is an open possibility for all human beings.
  • Self-Cultivation is a basis for self development of social leadership. You bring out a development of your human nature that would make you better off.

2. The Ecological family (Ecological: a network of traditions) The family receives much more attention in East Asian thought than in Western thought, because the family is considered more than about reproduction, or a good life. (Lecture, 10/1)

  • The Family is a core of:
  1. Humanization and education- The family helps to humanize people and it begins the process of their education.
  2. Self-Cultivation can occur.
  3. Self fulfillment and happiness
  4. Leaderships (learning leadership)
  5. Politics- This is where you learn how to solve conflicts.
  6. Economy (The model of one family firm)- The family that works together, produces together, and run businesses together.
  7. Culture, ritual, and history.

3. The Primacy of Politics, that means if you are thinking about East Asian political traditions, politics obviously come first in sense of : (Lecture, 10/1)

  • Management of human problems and institutions. From the East Asian view, politics is like running a family.
  • Two levels of politics: One is society consisting of families, the second is the Government such as the state, empire and local political institutions.
  • The pivotal role of the ruler, the ruler that has to ultimately make binding decisions like rules or laws who can resolve and should resolve conflicts.
  • The people (commoners) are the root of policy and who should benefit first.

4. Harmony is one of the basic integrating value of the whole tradition. (Lecture, 10/1)

  • It is virtue, but virtue is East Asia is not self sacrifice. Virtue means its a moral value based in balance and compromise (Bargaining).
  • Harmony as optimization of differences not blind conformity.
  • Competition as value and production.
  • Conflicts can become degenerative.

5. Ritual is collective role bound behavior. (Lecture, 10/1)

  • Connect in a collective action
  • It concentrate meaning.
  • Ritual can become a metaphor for the design of human institutions.
  • Ritual is a map of morality and civil behavior.