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The Study of Military Ethic in Pre-Qin Military Force

Author: CaoJing
Tutor: LvXiZuo
School: Central South University
Course: Philosophy
Keywords: the School of the Military in pre-Qin period militaryethics the value of war
CLC: B82-05
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2012
Downloads: 142
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It is very complex and of great innovative significance to research the military ethic thoughts of the School of Military Strategists. This dissertation will compare, analyze and comb the relationship between the pre-Qin military ideology and the ethic thoughts of other schools under the background that a hundred schools of thoughts contend, and finally discuss the profound significance of the pre-Qin military ethic thoughts and their modern military values.At the very beginning, this dissertation elucidates the origination, formation and developmental tracks of the military ethics in the pre-Qin period under the condition of social development and transformation of economic and social relations, pointing out the practical foundations on which the pre-Qin military ideology is based and introducing representative figures and their works.The spirit of pre-Qin military ethic thoughts is established on the basis that various thoughts of other schools influence and infiltrate with each other; it absorbs and assimilates doctrines from other schools like fraternity and benevolence in Confucianism, non-action in Taoism, non-attacking in Mohism, law in Legalism, greatly enriching and perfecting thoughts of the School of Military Strategists. Thoughts like "righteous wars" and "benevolence is the fundamentality" of the Confucianism sublime philosophically the School of Military Strategists. From the perspective of Legalism, its political theories provide abundant nourishments. Based on the contention of populism and humanism, Mohism endows military ethic thoughts with humanistic concerns. Taoism’s thoughts "conquering the unyielding with the yielding" and "no competition is the virtue" add splendor to the School of Military Strategists.Philosophers of the School of Military Strategists have a profound understanding of military ethic principles of wars, which mainly are "based on benevolence","subduing with virtues", and "protecting people to the most extent". All these are mainstreamed by "benevolence", trying to dress wars with the garments of morality. Systematizing the concept of the ’moral and cautious war’, they emphasize the justified notion of safeguarding the country and stabilize the people, thus resulting in the archaic military humanitarianism. The important military ethic principle---emphasizing and caring people guides wars developing towards the most human-oriented way. The emergence and conclusion of these military ethic principles curled the military operations in the pre-Qin period, had a great impact upon people’s attitude toward war and decided the development orientation of traditional military ethics of China.The value orientation of military ethic thoughts in pre-Qin period reveals the nature of war from the political and moral perspectives, and touches upon the economic nature of wars. The highest value foundation bases on the profits of country and people, emblematizing the highest value orientation of safeguarding nation and propitiating civilians of the School of Military Strategists. In a word, pre-Qin military ethic thoughts regard "safeguarding the nation" as the ultimate ethic essence."War" is the tool to "safeguard the nation" while "safeguarding the nation" is the aim and final value pursuit of "war".In the military ethic ideology, moral demeanors and cultivation of servicemen are an indispensable part, which include the virtues of generals and privates. It analyzes the necessary virtues for generals from the angles of "loyal to the emperor","clear-cut line between reward and punishment"/’protecting and caring for soldiers" and "leading exemplary effects", then formulates a series moral principles of soldiers similarly, establishing an integral normal system for servicemen’s moral demeanors and cultivation and reflecting their holistic moral status.The military ethic thoughts in the pre-Qin period show strategic inspiration to the construction of modern national defense. To safeguard and stabilize a country, great attentions should be paid to the tapping, building and accumulating materials and spiritual capability by which we can create an advanced comprehensive national strength. On the one hand, we should emphasize the establishment of military morality; on the other hand, more importantly, we must pay attention to the cultivation of behaviors and moralities. At the same time, the thoughts of justice, peace and humanism in the pre-Qin period have important strategic significance on the development of international military trend under multi-conditions.

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