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Mozi (Book) 墨子 – Top 100 Books in China

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The philosophical Bible of ancient labourers

Overview

Chinese Name:墨子

English Name: Mozi, Mojing, Mohist canon, Mo Tzu

Author: Mozi, Mozi’s disciples and their disciples

Originally Published: Warring States Period春秋战国时期

Genre: Philosophy

Brief Introduction of Mozi

Mozi is a philosophical work in the Warring States period. It consists of Mozi’s own works and Mozi’s comments recorded by his disciples.

Mozi is very rich in thought, including political thought, ethical thought, philosophical thought, logical thought and military thought, especially its logical thought, which is the foundation work of the history of logical thought in the Pre-Qin Dynasty.

In Mozi’s political thought, Mohism advocates the principle of appointing people on merit and opposes cronyism. It says that officials can’t always be noble and people can’t always be cheap. It advocates that all officials at all levels from the son of heaven to the lower levels should choose sages from all over the world.

兼相爱,交相利

According to the ethical thought of Mozi, Mozi advocates “love and benefit each other兼相爱,交相利”. People should love each other and benefit each other regardless of high and low, so that there will be no phenomenon of bullying the weak with strong, deceiving the low with high, and deceiving the foolish with wisdom in society. A monarch should cherish meritorious officials, and a loving father should cherish a filial son. People should not resent when they are poor and pay attention to benevolence and righteousness when they are rich.

The greatest contribution of Mozi’s philosophical thought is epistemology. Mozi advocates that knowledge is divided into “smell knowledge”, “say knowledge” and “personal knowledge”. Smell knowledge “is the knowledge imparted,” say knowledge “is the knowledge of reasoning, and” personal knowledge “is the knowledge of practical experience. This denies the transcendentalism of idealism.

Mozi contains a wealth of ideas and plays an important academic role in the history of Chinese ideological development. Mozi thought represents the interests and requirements of the working people and is the crystallization of the wisdom of the working people. Because of this, it was not appreciated by the ruling class. By the Qin and Han Dynasties, Mohism had little influence, and little was known about Mozi’s deeds.

 

Author of Mozi

The authors of the book “Mozi” were Mozi, Mozi’s disciples and their disciples.

Mozi (476 or 480 BC – 390 or 420 BC), named Zhai翟, was born in the late spring and Autumn period and the early Warring States period, an ancient Chinese thinker, educator, scientist and strategist, founder and main representative of Mohist school.

Mo Zi 墨子
Mo Zi 墨子

Mozi is the founder of Mohist theory. With universal love as the core and frugality and virtue as the fulcrum, Mozi established a set of scientific theories with outstanding achievements in geometry, physics and optics. Mohism had a great influence in the pre-Qin period and was called “prominent learning” together with Confucianism. The contention of a hundred schools of thought in the Warring States period is known as “Either Confucianism or Mohism”.

After Mozi’s death, Mohism was divided into three schools: Xiangli Mohism, Xiangfu Mohism and Dengling Mohism. Mozi’s disciples collected his quotations and compiled Mozi according to the historical materials of Mozi’s life and deeds.

Excerpts of Mozi

爱人者必见爱也,而恶人者必见恶也。

Those who love others will be loved, and those who hate others will also be hated.

兼相爱,交相利。


Love both yourself and others, and communicate with others to benefit each other.

无言而不信,不德而不报,投我以桃,报之以李。

There are no words not to promise, no kindness not to repay. You give me peaches, and I return with plums.

志不强者智不达,言不信者行不果。

A man of weak will must not have high wisdom; He who speaks without faith must not be brave in action

Evaluation of Mozi

Mozi is the most fond of saying “Love爱” in history. Mozi’s universal love is the same as Jesus’ universal love.

Sun Yat-Sen孙中山

Mozi contributed the most systematic developed theory of logical method to China in the whole history of Chinese thought.

Hu Shi胡适

Mozi is a laborer. He is not an official, but he is a sage better than Confucius and a master of ancient dialectical materialism.

Mao Zedong毛泽东

 

Video: From Mohism’s Book of Mozi: Book 1 – Indulgence in Excess

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