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3 The Hundred Schools of the Spring and Autumn and Warring States Period, II (ca. 6th to 3rd Century bce)

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Chapter Summary

In the Warring States period, it was a view of the cosmos similar to the later "vault of Heaven" theory that was most likely absolutely dominant. The meaning of Heaven and Earth was always one of the central issues in ancient Chinese thought. The Dao represented the correct and unalterable laws of nature as well as the will of the spirits and Gods from the non-human world. This way of thinking almost became the common consensus among a variety of thinkers from the Warring States period. In the middle of the Warring States period, some men had already begun to adumbrate ideas on the basis of the observation that human nature is evil, and these ideas would later be called Legalism or Legalist thought. Social order was a central topic in Warring States intellectual history because of the felt necessity of establishing a unified political ideology.

Keywords: cosmos; legalism; political ideology; social order; Warring States period

10.1163/9789047425076_005
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