Tao Te Ching

Chinese neo-Confucian vs Aquinas Ethics College

Saint Thomas Aquinas was one of the greatest philosophers and theologians of the Middle Ages whose ethics concerning the idea of a virtuous person were comparable in many respects to Chinese neo-Confucian ethics about the superior man. In regards to governance, Aquinas believed that the ruler should be governing in the best interest of the people and look to improve society as a whole. The neo-Confucian stance on governance was essentially the same, as it advocated for a ruler that had humanity or humaneness and was a junzi, or gentleman. In terms of happiness, however, Aquinas believed that happiness in life was only fleeting, and true happiness lay in the afterlife, and thus the most religious in life were truly the happiest. On the other hand, neo-Confucianism believed that happiness was within oneself, and could be discovered through finding the way or the path. Furthermore, Aquinas believed that there were four types of law, which included eternal law, natural law, human law, and divine law, which man had to obey. Neo-Confucianism, however, had essential “laws” that covered filial piety and various relationships one had in life. Lastly, Aquinas had many beliefs on ethical issues that ranged from heresy to suicide, while...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1461 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 10412 literature essays, 2634 sample college application essays, 532 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in