Philosophy & Culture Article Intro
Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn period and Warring States period, during a period known as the "Hundred Schools of Thought", which was characterized by significant intellectual and cultural developments. Although much of Chinese philosophy begins in the Warring States period, elements of Chinese philosophy have existed for several thousand years; some can be found in the Yi Jing (the Book of Changes), an ancient compendium of divination, which dates back to at least 672 BCE. It was during the Warring States era that what Sima Tan termed the major philosophical schools of China: Confucianism, Legalism, and Daoism (Taoism), arose, along with philosophies that later fell into obscurity, like Agriculturalism, Mohism, Chinese Naturalism, and the Logicians.
Buddhism until the 4th century A.D had little impact on China but in the 4th century its teachings hybridized with those of Daoism. Buddhism brought to China the idea of many hells, where sinners went, but the deceased sinners souls could be saved by pious acts. Since Chinese traditional thought focused more on ethics rather than metaphysics, the merging of Buddhist and Daoist concepts developed several schools distinct from the originating Indian schools.
Chinese culture is one of the world's oldest cultures, originating thousands of years ago. The area over which the culture prevails covers a large geographical region in East Asia and is extremely diverse and varying, with customs and traditions varying greatly between provinces, cities, and even towns as well.
Chinese civilization is historically considered the dominant culture of East Asia. With China being one of the earliest ancient civilizations, Chinese culture exerts profound influence on the philosophy, virtue, etiquette, and traditions of Asia to date. Chinese language, ceramics, architecture, music, dance, literature, martial arts, cuisine, visual arts, philosophy, business etiquette, religion, politics, and history have global influence, while its traditions and festivals are also celebrated, instilled, and practiced by people around the world.
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These "generalized" introductions are excerpts from Wikipedia.com