Originally published in Asia Major.


(Introduction) Prior to Chinese unification in 221 bc and the beginning of imperial history, there was a “golden age” of philosophical debate among various scholars about the best way to live life, construct a social contract, and act in harmony with heaven and earth. The most influential of these scholars, collectively called the “various masters,” or zhu zi 諸子, attracted disciples who recorded the teachings of their “masters” and passed these teachings on. These texts, collectively called “masters- texts” (zi shu 子書), became the bedrock of Chinese intellectual history.


History of Philosophy | History of Religions of Eastern Origins | Intellectual History | Philosophy | Religion