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Sunday
Dec162018

RS 223 - Chris Fraser on "The Mohists, ancient China's philosopher warriors"

Release date: December 16th, 2018

Chris Fraser (Photo: Chan Kang 詹康)

Not enough people know about the Mohists, a strikingly modern group of Chinese philosophers active in 479–221 BCE. This episode features Chris Fraser, expert on Mohism and professor of philosophy at the University of Hong Kong. Chris and Julia discuss how the Mohists put their philosophy into practice and got Chinese leaders to hold off on starting wars; how their philosophy was similar to and different from modern consequentialism; why their movement died out, and what modern groups like Effective Altruists can learn from their story.

Links 

"Heaven and Earth Are Not Humane" by Franklin Perkins

Edited by Brent Silk

Music by Miracles of Modern Science

Full Transcripts 

Reader Comments (3)

It makes sense that the artisan class would come up with a more logical and utilitarian philosophy. The artisan class probably had to solve many practical problems, and in doing so developed exceptional reasoning skills.

Interesting that Mozi also embraced merit pay and merit promotion, in sharp contrast to bureaucratic seniority or nepotism. Many governments around the world would benefit from this idea.

To prevent your altruistic ideological movement from deteriorating into an asceticism competition, establish pure pleasurable indulgence as one of your primary virtues. Just avoid engaging in it to an excess.

Just learned about Mozi and Mohism for the first time, and it seems pretty kool.
December 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJameson
There's actually a movie about the Mohist monk who goes around defending the cities. It's a HK film starring Andy Lau, who was in Infernal Affairs (from which The Departed was based on).
January 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMichael
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Battle_of_Wits_(2006_film)

forgot to include the link
January 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

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