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Mohism

Mohism (墨家 or Mocism) is a Chinese philosophy that evolved at the same time as Confucianism, Taoism and Legalism. It disappeared during the Qin dynasty. Mohism was founded by Mo4 Di2 (墨翟), known as Motse (墨子 Mo4 Zi5) or Mocius to the Western scholars. His philosophy was described in the book Mo Tse (墨子《墨子》) compiled by his students from lecture notes.

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Morality in Mohism

In Mohism, morality is not defined by tradition, but rather by a constant moral guide that parallels utilitarism. Traditionalism is inconsistant, and man-kind need an extra-traditional guide to identify which traditions are acceptable. The moral guide must then promote and encourage social behaviors that maximise general utility.

Individual relations in Mohism

Mohism promotes a philosophy of universal love[?], i.e. an equal affection for all individuals. This universal love is what makes man 'Good'. The advocacy of universal love was a target of attack by other schools particularly the Confucians, as it implies that a child should have more affection for their parents than for a random stranger.

Political and military systems in Mohism

The existence of society as an organized organism reduces the wastes and innefficiencies found in the natural state. Conflicts are born from the absence of morale uniformity in man in his natural state, i.e. the absence of the definition of what is right (是 shi4) and what is wrong (非 fei1). We must then choose leaders, who will surround themselves with righteous followers, who will then create the hierarchy that harmonizes Shi / Fei. In that sense, the governement becomes an authoritative & automated tool. Mohism opposes itself to any form of aggression, especially in the form of war between states. It is however permitted for a state to use force in legitimate defense. They have inspired some modern pacifists.

Mohists developed the sciences of fortification, and were hired by the many warring kingdoms as fortification advisors.

Mysticism in Mohism

Belief in the heavens as a divine force (Tian[?]) who know the immoral acts of man, who can punish and is then a force to encourage moral righteousness. Belief in spirits is at best vague; against elaborate funeral ceremonies, defined as a waste of resources.

Arts in Mohism

Music and dance are forms of extravagance and flamboyance, and are a waste of resources that could of been used to feed, house and protect the people.

The Logicians School

One of the schools Mohism that has received a bit of attention was the Logicians school, which was interested in resolving logical puzzles. Some historians such as Joseph Needham[?] have seen this group as a precursor to science that never went anywhere. Others claim that seeing the Logicians as proto-scientists reads too much of a modern bias into them. See also: history of logic.



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