There were the Mohists
(mo jia), who Needham described as "chivalrous military pacifists with an interest in scientific method and even experimentation arising out of war techniques".
Indian materialism is an anomaly somewhat like the Chinese rationalism of the Mohists
. Pradeep Gokhale provides an overview of the school, which he describes as "a rationalist philosophical movement which attempted to solve individual and social issues merely on empirical, rational, and practical grounds without taking recourse to religion."
(11) Although one associates wu-wei with Daoism, it is also found in Confucianism but is rejected completely by the "rationalist" Mohists
. Edward Slingerland, Trying not to Try, 24-25, 199, 209.
Indeed, these examples can only lead to an opposite conclusion; that is, that ancient Chinese writers were no less masters of logic than their Western counterparts--if only their logic is not pegged as a close or distant cousin of Western logic (see, for example, Angus Graham's discussion of the Later Mohists
' logical writings).
Why did Mengzi not follow the Mohists
in writing systematic essays?
Also salient is Chen's argument that the "Confucian" orthodoxy-by-decree of Han times was basically derived from the Taoists, Mohists
, and Hsun-tzu.
Hsun Tzu is an author who attempts to clarify and extend Confucian insights and the Confucian project of rectifying language in opposition both to other Confucians (e.g., Mencius) and to some outside the school entirely (examples: Chuang Tzu and the Mohists
(3) The most comprehensive early works treating standards of judgment are those of the Later Mohists
, which survived in highly corrupted form in chapters forty through forty-five of the book Mozi.
(32) One sign of the importance of such issues is that they are important in the writings not only of Confucians but also of Mohists
, Taoists, and Legalists - that is, in all schools of the classical philosophical tradition.
His conservative appeal to restore the rites and ceremonies of Chou was countered by the Mohists
, who evolved a creed of universal benevolence based on the rational calculation of benefit and harm.
Focusing on the writings of Liu Shipei, Zhang Taiyan, Hu Shi, Liang Qichao, and Wang Guowei, Kurtz shows how after 1905, with the abolition of the imperial examinations, and after 1911, with the overthrow of the empire, through the efforts of several influential scholars, logic would suddenly become a Chinese tradition, found in the writings of Mohists
, Daoists, and some other scholars who had originally been classified in the School of Names during the Warring States Period.
(2) I wonder why Zhou did not choose to explicitly compare, make use of, or even mention the writings of the Warring States Mohists
, or statecraft writers such as Han Feizi, Shang Yang, and Shen Dao, rather than sticking to the canon of Ru texts that usually convey a strictly Zhou-centered (and hence, Lineage Law-based) system of social ideals.