Example from Mrs. Agans' class:
Thesis: During China’s Warring States Period, three philosophies, Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism, arose to answer the question of how China should be governed and how its culture should be shaped. While they sared a similar goal, these philosophies were vastly different in their fundamental beliefs and takes on government with Confucianism looking to personal responsibilities, Daoism looking to nature, and Legalism looking to a strict government.
Direct Comparison: A direct comparison between Confucianism, Daoism and Legalism would be the way that they saw human beings and the need for organization in general.
One Similarity for this Direct Comparison: One similarity in the way each philosophy saw people and the need for organization is that each philosophy believed that life could be improved. The reason for this similarity is that all of the philosophies came about in the warring states period, when life was unstable and government uncertain. All recognized the need for a better life.
One Difference for this Direct Comparison: One difference in the way each philosophy saw people and the need for organization is that each philosophy held a different viewpoint regarding the internal nature of humans and therefore how they needed to live. Confucianism believed that people were good based on the way they interacted with others. As a result, this philosophy emphasized relationships and organized society by calling for a positive relationship between the people and the state. Daoism believed that people were simply a part of nature and that life should be left to take its course. This led Daoists to ignore the institution of government. Legalism on the other hand, believed that people all had bad natures and that, to control this wickedness, they needed to be strictly organized by the state. The reason for these differences would be the backgrounds of the founders of the philosophies. Legalism came from bureaucrats in city states; Confucianism came from a government official; and Daoism came from a philosopher.
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