When did he live and what was his historical significance? Mozi, also pronounce as Mo Di, was a philosopher born in Tengzhou, Shandong Province of China from 470-400 BCE. He founded the school of Mohism, which rivaled arguably to Confucianism and Daoism. While there is much mystery to his life and origins, speculations points that Mozi was schooled in Confucianism in his early years. He thought Confucianism emphasize too much contribution to celebrations and funerals which he felt were unfavorable to the livelihood and production of common people.
Mozi believed that society should be led by the wise and the virtuous, and as people, we should work to save each other. He sought a world of jian’ai or “impartial care” which is aim to give a moral guide to social behavior; that is to say, no matter the relationship between a person, every individual should equally care for one another. Although, despite contention that all people deserve equal concern, elements of Mozi thought may have provided a corrective to some, but not supported as such to economic equality or status equality.
During the Warring States Period, Mohism was actively developed and practiced in many states, but fell out of favor when the legalist of Qin Dynasty came to power. Mohist and Mohism values were tarnished when Emperor Qin ordered the burning of books and burying of scholars. Furthermore, Mohism further declined when Confucianism became the dominant “school of thought” during the Han Dynasty. Though Mozi’s school faded into obscurity after the Warring States period, Mohism was studied again two millennia after his death.
Since almost nobody had seize the texts during the last two thousand years, there was much difficulty deciphering the it. As a result, Mohism became the hardest philosopher within the hundred “school of thoughts” to study. In addition, Mozi has been place in China’s history as an important figure of philosophy. His passion was for the good of the people, without concern of personal gain nor even of his life or death.