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Mo Tzu

Mo Tzu (honorific title, ‘ Teacher Mo’, given to Mo Ti, c.470–c.380 BCE). Leading philosopher among the ‘hundred philosophers’ of early China. He was educated in the classic texts, and may for a time have followed Confucius; but he strongly opposed Confucianism for its agnosticism about heaven (tʾien) and spiritual beings, and its preoccupation with ritual. He advocated an attitude of love (ai) to all beings, not just toward family or those from whom reciprocal favours can be expected. This love, which is central to Mo Tzu's teaching, means regarding all as equally deserving of it. Extravagant activities, and above all warfare, should be abandoned. All this is in accord with the will of Tʾien, now personified as actively seeking the practice of love.

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Mo-Tzu

Mo-Tzu (mô-dzŭ) or Mo Ti (mô dē), c.470 BC–391 BC, Chinese philosopher. His teachings, found in The Mo Tzu, emphasize universal love—that people should love all others as they love their own families and states. He also advocated moderation in social affairs, including funeral rites. At first a rival of Confucianism, Moism vastly declined in influence after about 200 years.

See his basic writings, tr. by B. Watson (1963).

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