Thursday, September 11, 2008


Mohism or Moism was a Chinese philosophy developed by the followers of Mozi . It evolved at about the same time as Confucianism, Taoism and and was one of the four main during the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period . During that time, Mohism was seen as a major rival to Confucianism. The Qin dynasty which united China in 221 BC, adopted as the official government philosophy, and . In the modern era, Mohism has all but disappeared as a school of philosophy, although some Asian secret societies consider themselves to be the modern followers of Mohist thought.

Important beliefs

Mohism rested on the concept of "impartial care" or "universal love" . Mozi believed that "everyone is equal before heaven", and that people should seek to imitate heaven by engaging in the practice of impartial and collective love. His epistemology can be regarded as a form of empiricism; he believed that our cognition ought to be based on our perceptions – our sensory experiences, such as sight and hearing – instead of imagination or internal logic, elements founded on our capacity for abstraction. Mozi's philosophy was described in the book '''', compiled by his students from his lecture notes.


Mozi is best known for his insistence that all people are equally deserving of receiving material benefit and being protected from physical harm. In Mohism, morality is defined not by tradition, but rather by a constant moral guide that parallels utilitarianism. Tradition is inconsistent, and human beings need an extra-traditional guide to identify which traditions are acceptable. The moral guide must then promote and encourage social behaviors that maximize general utility.


Mohism promotes a philosophy of impartial care - equal care for all individuals.
#Assessing them basing on history
#Assessing them basing on the experiences of common, average people
#Assessing their usefulness by applying them in law or politics Much like Euclid's first and third definitions and Plato's 'beginning of a line', the ''Mo Jing'' stated that "a point may stand at the end or at its beginning like a head-presentation in childbirth. there is nothing similar to it." Similar to the atomists of Democritus, the ''Mo Jing'' stated that a point is the smallest unit, and cannot be cut in half, since 'nothing' cannot be halved. along with principles of space and bounded space. It also described the fact that planes without the quality of thickness cannot be piled up since they cannot mutually touch. The book provided definitions for circumference, diameter, and radius, along with the definition of volume.

Further reading

* Graham, A.C., ''Disputers of the TAO: Philosophical Argument in Ancient China'' . ISBN 0-8126-9087-7

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