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Notes on video lecture:
The Shang Dynasty (1554-1045 BC)
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
written, Di, humans, future, breakfast, archeologically, human, Europeans, unified, married, vary, mountains, child, drink, animals, writing, symbol, tomb, Xia, eccentric, entombing, oracle, Latin, sky, ridiculous, shamanic, spiritual, historical, China, Pantheon, Yin, offer, abstract, gross, dialects, contentious, phonetic, crack, pattern, East, bronze, pharmacies, holistically, turtle
Shang Dynasty (1554-1045 BC)
first clearly                                attested dynasty
with Shang Dynasty the                      record matching up with the archeological evidence
alternate name is the        Dynasty
the first source of significant written records
             bones
inscriptions in              vessels
once you have               , you can match it up with the historical record in a rigorous way
the nature of Chinese writing
symbol of          looks like a sun coming up behind a tree
the issue that Chinese symbol writing looks like pictures is a                        issue in Chinese scholarship
one argument is that Western alphabets are based on logocentrisms while Chinese alphabets are based on pictures
the argument goes: this is why                    tend to be more logical and analytical
Chinese have pictures and so tend to think more                         
taken to an extreme, this is a                      argument
some Chinese characters clearly have picture origins
very quickly, though, this just becomes an                  concept that means East
people don't see the              anymore of the sun rising in the east
similar to the English word "                  " which comes from the idea of "breaking one's nightly fast"
but when I say, "Let's go have breakfast", you don't think of breaking your fast anymore
the same in Chinese: once you are a literate person, you are just reading words as people do who read European languages
so we don't want to get to                    about how different and Chinese writing system is, it's a writing system like any other writing system
one important feature, though, is it is not directly                 
there are many theories about why Chinese became                at a very early date in history and remained unified
"I personally think it has to do with the writing system"
so you have people's who speak completely different                 , but when they read the language, they can read it in their own dialect
in this way different peoples are connected to the                system in a way that is different than, let's say, if you are reading            and you are a German speaker, if you are a German you can't read a Latin document from the Pope in German
however, people living in the outback areas of            receiving an official notice from the central government can each read it in their own dialect
Shang chronology
King Tang - 1554 BC
defeated the evil king of the        and founded the Shang dynasty
Wu Ding (1250-1192 BC)
Di Xin (1105-1046 BC)
23rd generation
dissolute, evil, mean to people, lost in           
was defeated by his own army
oracle bones
makes up much of the information we have from Shang
             shells
shoulder blades of oxen
discovered in 1898, "dragon bones" used in traditional medicine
they were being dug up by farmers and sold to                     
we now have hundreds of thousands of them
they were divination records
records of attempts to communicate with the ancestors
tend to be about things that are not under            control
harvest
war
weather
dreams
sickness
           bearing
there were attempts by Shang kings to get some insight into what will happen in the             
so we have these records at least of what the Shang royal line was concerned about
Shang                 
Shang     
"Lord on High"
the supreme god in the Shang pantheon
non-ancestral
seems to be an independent god
originally a        god
referring to a region around the north pole in the sky
important because all the other stars go around it
ancestors
the past Shang ancestors
the further back, the more revered
nature deities
rivers
                  
Shamanism
king is the political ruler and a kind of                    god
spirits communicate through            patterns in bone
take a hot poker, stick it on the bone and it cracks
the pattern from the cracks reveals what the answer from the spirits is
the king is the only one who can interpret that               
Shang bronze vessels
evocative                  imagery
animalistic spirits
shamanistic figures transforming or being embraced by               
sacrifice
food and drink
animals and             
large numbers of war captives were sacrifices in exchange for
favors
avoiding bad luck
announcements
if an important person is getting               
you don't communicate with the ancestors without making some sort of            to them
need keep them happy
                   the dead
elite tombs were very large
prepared physical body
there was a process which they went through to turn a dead person into a spirit
tombs          wildly in elaborateness
showed a very stratified culture
would put human sacrifices in the         
luxury items, food and tools
a good part of the            national product went into the ground with dead people
dynasties:
Shang Dynasty (1554-1045 BC)
ruled in the Yellow River valley, the first source of significant written records
earliest known body of Chinese writing, mostly divinations inscribed on oracle bones

People:

Tang of Shang (1675-1646 BC)
The first king of the Shang dynasty in Chinese history, overthrew Jie, the last ruler of the Xia dynasty
  • Tang had ruled Shang, one of the many kingdoms under the suzerainty of the Xia dynasty, for 17 years
  • during Jie's reign, Shang grew in power and was able to win many supporters from as many as 40 smaller kingdoms
  • he recognized that Jie mistreated his people and used this to convince others
  • Tang's reign was regarded as a good one by the Chinese, he lowered taxes and the conscription rate of soldiers, his influence spread to the Yellow River, and many outlying tribes, such as Di and Qiang, became vassal states, he also established Anyang as the new capital of China

Spelling Corrections:

wholisticallyholistically
disolutedissolute
ancesteralancestral

Ideas and Concepts:

On how a lack of unified phonetics in the Chinese writing system helped China unify early and stay unified, via this tonight's Ancient Chinese Thought course:

"The issue that Chinese symbol writing looks like pictures is contentious in Chinese scholarship. One argument is that Western alphabets are based on logocentrisms while Chinese alphabets are based on pictures. This is why, the argument goes, that Europeans tend to be more logical and analytical while the Chinese tend to think more holistically. Taken to an extreme, this is a ridiculous argument, since while some Chinese characters clearly have picture origins, for people learning to read, symbols very quickly come to represent abstract concepts, e.g. even though the character for "east" resembles a sun behind a tree, literate people simply read the symbol as the concept "east". A similar example is the English word "breakfast" which comes from the idea of "breaking one's nightly fast", yet if I use the word breakfast in a sentence, you don't think of breaking your nightly fast, but just think of the concept of a morning meal. So we don't want to get too eccentric about how different the Chinese writing system is, it's a writing system like any other writing system.

However, one important difference in Chinese writing is that is does not have a unified phonetic system. There are many theories about why China became unified at a very early date in history and remained unified, and it could have something to do with this peculiarity of their writing system since it enabled people who spoke completely different dialects to use the same written language. This was very different in Europe where a member of a Germanic or Gallic province could not read a Latin document written by the Pope in their native German or French dialects. However, people living in the outback areas of China receiving an official notice from the central government could each read the written document aloud to members who could understand their own dialect."
The Definition of Religion
Mind/Body Dualism and Cognitive Control
Deontology, Utilitarianism, and Virtue Ethics
Wu-Wei, Dao, Tien and De
The Shang Dynasty (1554-1045 BC)
The Beginnings of Written Chinese History
Eastern Holistic Thinking and the Paradox of Virtue
The Golden Age of the Western Zhou (1046–771 BCE)
Philosophical and Conceptual Innovations in Zhou Thought
Confucius and the Analects
Confucius: I Transmit, I Do Not Innovate
Confucius' Use of Ritual as a Tool
Confucius' View on Learning vs. The Enlightenment
Confucius and Holistic Education
Confucius and the Art of Self-Cultivation
At Home in Virtue
Non-Coercive Comportment, Virtue, and Charisma of the Zhou
The Transition to Becoming Sincere
The Primitivists in the Analects
Laozi and the Daodejing
Laozi: Stop the Journey and Return Home
Laozi and The Desires of the Eye
Laozi: He Who Speaks Does Not Know
The Concept of Reversion
Laozi on Shutting Down the Prefrontal Cortex
The Guodian Laozi
Mozi and Materialist State Consequentialism
Mozi's Idea of Ideological Unity
Mozi's Doctrine of Impartial Caring