Learning Goal: I’m working on a history writing question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.Read the instruction for the first essay assignment in the attachment.The purpose of the first assignment is to have you read the basic texts of early Confucianism and Daoism. You should read these texts as closely as you can before composing your essays! You are expected to compare and contrast their views of the good life and good government. Here are some more specific guidelines:Both Confucian and Daoist thinkers were primarily concerned with how to lead a good life in times of chaos (moral and existential questions), and how to achieve good government (political philosophical questions). Each of these thinkers (Confucius, Mencius, Xunzi, Laozi, and Zhuangzi) had different ideas and offered different solutions as to these problems. Figure out how each thinker understood human nature (re: good life), and what each offered as solutions (re: good government) to rampant evils in human society at the time! Of course, you can choose to focus on either “the good life” or “good government,” but you can also address the other by spelling out the far-reaching implications of their views.Once you have gained a confident understanding of these texts through close reading, you can find a more specific topic for further inquiry into the implications of these texts. For example, you might want to begin with the question of why and how Laozi and Zhuangzi were so critical of Confucian philosophy (what were their differences were as to human nature and good government); or you might want to defend Confucianism by constructing a Confucian apology against Daoist critiques.You can, of course, address these issues by focusing on a more specific question: for example, you can focus on the difference between Laozi and Confucius. Even if your focus is on Laozi and Confucius, you should also cite later texts (Mencius, Xunzi, and Zhuangzi) because by reading the later texts, you can form a clearer understanding of their predecessors (Laozi and Confucius). Vice versa, you can choose to compare Zhuangzi and Xunzi, but you should also cite the other three texts.Here is a list of possible topics for your essays:1. A Daoist (Laozi or Zhuangzi or both) critique of Confucian (Confucius or Mencius or Xunzi) morality (remember “morality” is not only for individuals but also for government)2. Zhuangzi’s view of “virtue” and Xunzi’s view of “learning”, similarities and differences compared.3. Compare and contrast the Daoist and Confucian methods of “self-cultivation” (and their implications for good government)4. Compare and contrast the Daoist and Confucian views of the state (and explain why each school proposed such visions by addressing their views of the good life)There can be numerous topics! Be creative, and use your imaginations!For the first essay assignment, I have already provided the translations of the Daoist classics and the Confucian Analects. Attached are the translations of the Mencius and the Xunzi.1. When you cite these sources, you can only provide chapter numbers in the footnote.Ex) Laozi 3; Analects 3.5; Mencius (or Mengzi) 1A1; Xunzi, chapter 1, Zhuangzi, chapter 4.2. When you cite the secondary sources, use the following format in the footnote:Herbert Fingarette, Confucius: the Secular as Sacred ( Waveland, 1988), 32.
Requirements: 5 pgs with double spaced
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