The argument among the pre-Qin schools and their mutual influence greatly helped promote the prosperity of thoughts and culture.
1 Mohist School
The founder of Mohist School was Mo Tzu, a man of humble birth in the State of Lu. He was once a craftsman and later became a senior official of the Song State. Mo Tzu advocated "universal love,"going far beyond the concept of "benevolence" proposed by Confucius that was based on different classes. He considered all the people are equal, no matter they are nobles or commoners. He also upheld "respecting the wise," employing talented people regardless of which class they come from, and proposed "respecting the working people,"stressing the position of labor in the society. Meanwhile, Mo Tzu opposed extravagance and waste, advocated "thrift in daily life and funerals."The book MoTzu that has been passed down for generations also greatly contributes to natural science and logical science. The Mohist School highlights the interests of the working class, especially those of craftsmen. It was once prominent and widely adopted and cited by other schools.
2 Zhuang Tzu
Han Fei, a philosopher of the late Warring States Period, was an integrator of Legalism. In his philosophy, the ruler firmly controls the state with the help of three concepts: his position of power (Shi), certain techniques (Shu), and laws(Fa) to set up a monarchic despotism. He believed laws were the basis of handling state affairs, techniques were the tools for the emperor to control the ministers, and power was the regime and influence of the emperor. He advocated "ruling a state according to law"and "laws don't protect the powerful persons," which was of positive significance for attacking the privileges of former nobles and maintaining the centralized system of emerging landocracy. He believed that the society keeps developing and changing and history will never reverse itself. He was against the historical concept of Confucians, "confirming the ancient practice and denying today's practice" and advocated reform. In his opinion, ruling the people with the politics of ancient kings was as ridiculous as standing by a tree stump waiting for a hare to dash itself against it. Han Fei's philosophy met the requirements of establishing a centralized regime and was advocated by Ying Zheng, which made Han's philosophy the guiding concept of ruling the country. In the more than one millennium since the Western Han Dynasty, his thought and Confucianism supported each other and became the theoretical foundation of the ruling thought of ancient China. The spirit of reform became the theoretical weapon for progressive thinkers and politicians in the following generations to implement reform.
4 Prosperity of thoughts and culture