Mo Di (Mo Ti), better known as Mozi (Mo-tzu) or "Master Mo," was a Chinese thinker active from the late 5th to the early 4th centuries B. Mozi's teaching is summed up in ten theses extensively argued for in the text that bears his name, although he himself is unlikely to have been its author. Some early sources say that he, like Confucius, was a native of the state of Lu (in modern Shandong) and at one point served as a minister in the state of Song (in modern Henan).
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Traditionally, these triads correspond to the "upper" () versions of the thesis in question; in Western scholarship, they are usually referred to as versions "A," "B," and "C" of the corresponding thesis. philosophical text associated with a student of the Confucian thinker Xunzi.
Intriguingly, the chapters that make up each triad often are very close to each other in wording without being exactly identical, thus raising questions about the precise relationship between them and with how the text assumed its present shape. Graham's proposal that the triads correspond to oral traditions of Mohist doctrine transmitted by the three Mohist sects mentioned in the , a third century B. Much of the core chapters is written in a style that is not calculated to please.
The most famous of these theses is the injunction that one ought to be concerned for the welfare of people in a spirit of "impartial concern" (jian'ai) that does not make distinctions between self and other, associates and strangers, a doctrine often described more simplistically as "universal love." Mozi founded a quasi-religious and paramilitary community that, apart from propagating the ten theses, lent aid to small states under threat from military aggressors with their expertise in counter-siege technology. In these ways, Mohist ideas survived well into the early imperial era, albeit by being absorbed into other Chinese philosophical traditions. Early sources identify him variously as a contemporary of Confucius or as living after Confucius' time. According to tradition, he studied with Confucian teachers but later rebelled against their ideas.
Along with the Confucians, the Mohists were one of the two most prominent schools of thought during the Warring States period (403-221 B. E.), although contemporary sources such as the Hanfeizi and the Zhuangzi indicate that the Mohists had divided into rival sects by this time. E., later Mohists wrote the earliest extant Chinese treatise on logic, as well as works on geometry, optics and mechanics. Modern scholars generally believe that Mozi was active from the late 5th to the early 4th centuries B. E., before the time of the Confucian philosopher Mencius, which places him in the early Warring States period (403-221 B. As was the case with Confucius, Mozi probably traveled among the various contending states to present his ideas before their rulers in the hope of obtaining political employment, with an equal lack of success.
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