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Confucianism the philosophical system founded on the teaching of Confucius who lived from 551 BC to 479 BC dominated Chinese sociopolitical life for most of the Chinese history and largely influenced the cultures of Korea Japan and Indochina The Confucian school functioned as a recruiting ground for government positions which were filled by those scoring highest on examinations in the Confucian classics It also blended with popular and important religions and became the vehicle for presenting Chinese values to the peasants The schools doctrine supported political authority using the theory of the mandate of heaven It sought to help rulers maintain domestic order preserve tradition and maintain a constant standard of living for the tax paying peasants It trained its followers in generous giving traditional rituals family order loyalty respect for superiors and for the aged and principled flexibility in advising rulersConfucius was Chinas first and most famous philosopher He had a traditional personal name Qiu and a formal name Zhoghi Confuciuss father died shortly after Confuciuss birth His family fell into relative poverty and Confucius joined a growing class of impoverished descendants of aristocrats who made their careers by acquiring knowledge of feudal ritual and taking positions of influence serving the rulers of the many separate states of ancient China Confucius devoted himself to learning At the age of 30 however when his short-lived official career floundered he turned to teaching others Confucius himself never wrote down his own philosophy although tradition credits him with editing some of the historical classics that were used as texts in his school He apparently made an enormous impact on the lives and attitudes of his disciplesConfucianism combines a political theory and a theory of human nature to yield dao a prescriptive doctrine or way The political theory starts with a Doctrine of political authority from heavens command the ruler bears responsibility for the well being of the people and therefore for peace and order in the
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