Confucianism And Daoism Analysis

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Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism have differing perceptions of language and its role in society. The beliefs of philosophers in each of these Chinese philosophical traditions are stated in the Analects in Confucian philosophy, the Tao Te Ching in Daoist philosophy, and the Platform Sutra for Buddhist philosophy. The specific beliefs in regard to language are stated in relation to its role in the overarching principles societal relations. The perception of language in Confucianism is rooted in the relationship between words and their meanings. The definitions of key words in Confucian philosophy are vague since they represent broad terms and relationships. Despite the obscurity of the definitions of these words, they are conceptual words…show more content…
While Confucius noted the importance of “correct” language in Daoism, language is said to cause divides and differences within society in Daoism, thus taking away the wholeness associated with the Dao. The Dao is impartial to all things, as it runs through everything and is eternally present in all things. In the first lines of the Tao Te Ching, it is stated that “The unnamable is the eternally real. Naming is the origin of all particular things.” While Confucius believed in the importance of correctly naming things and correcting language, it is evident that language is perceived as less important in Daoism. In the previous quote from the Tao Te Ching, one can understand that the “unnamable” has no need to be named or characterized. The things that can be named are not considered eternal by the philosophy of the Tao Te Ching. One potential explanation behind the perception of words having a lessened role is because the Dao cannot be expressed in language. If the Dao, the most basic principle of the philosophy of Daoism cannot be expressed in words, then words should not be as important as they are in Confucian philosophy. Not only is language considered less important by Daoism, it is potentially harmful and divisive. When things are deemed to have a particular characteristic, such as good or beautiful, then other things are deemed bad or ugly,
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