China History Podcast

The Tang of Philosophy1 min read

Part seven in the History of Chinese Philosophy podcast series


In the late Han Dynasty, philosophy was a lot more complex than in Confucius’s time. The focus in this episode is on philosophical thought in the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). From the fall of the Han dynasty in 220, all the way through the Six Dynasties, Buddhism had spread quickly throughout the disunited kingdoms of China. By the time the father and son team of Yang Jian and Yang Guang stabilized and united China into a new empire in 589, Buddhism had taken root and appealed to the weary masses and the aristocrats. Later in the Tang Dynasty, Confucianism reasserted itself, and after the brilliant work of Han Yu, Li Ao and Liu Zongyuan, it set the stage for the third epoch in Confucianism during the Song dynasty. Laszlo also briefly introduces three of the founding fathers of Neo Confucianism, Zhou Dunyi, Shao Yong and Zhang Zai:

Previous episodes in the series: 
Episode one: The History of Chinese Philosophy
Episode two: There’s Something About Confucius
Episode three: Book of Ch-ch-ch-Changes
Episode four: A Hundred Schools of Thought
Episode five: Follow the Law
Episode six: Follow the Dao
Laszlo’s Chinese philosophy infographic, click to view the full size version: