"Misfortunes of a nation may turn out to be fortunes of a philosopher," noted Qian Mu, arenowned expert in Chinese cultural studies.
The sentence vividly summarizes ancient Chinese philosophers and their work, with Chinese history providing verification through the passage of time. In the majesticperiods of Chinese history like the Han (206BC-220AD) and Tang (618-907) dynasties, major achievements in the humanities occurred in the field of literature, but at times of social unrest, philosophical accomplishments were even more prominent.
Ancient Chinese philosophers were born out of sorcery. After a series of incidents, ancient belief systems in destiny were gradually shaken and finally collapsed. The symbolic events that indicated the birth of Chinese philosophy were all developed byhistoriographers and senior officials in the government of the Zhou Dynasty (about 11th Century-221BC) helping to explain natural and social phenomena. The old-type sorcerers, who were most used to providing theological explanations, discarded their most familiar habits of resorting to augury, and emerged anew as philosophers, trying to give logical explanations by employing reason. Chinese philosophy, as a new form of culture, was born.