List of Chinese philosophers
- Confucius, arguably the most influential Chinese philosopher ever.
- Dong Zhongshu, integrated Yin Yang cosmology into a Confucian ethical framework.
- Mencius, idealist who proposed mankind is innately benevolent.
- Wang Fu, endorsed the Confucian model of government.
- Wang Mang, emperor who sought to create a harmonious society, yet chaos resulted.
- Xunzi, broke from Mencius' view, instead arguing that morality is extrinsic.
- Yan Hui
- Zheng Xuan
- Zhu Xi
- List of Confucianists
- Chen Tuan
- Ge Hong
- Laozi (Lao Tzŭ), illusive founder of Taoism and author of the Tao te Ching (Book of the Way).
- Lie Yukou, said to be the author of the Daoist book Liezi
- Yang Xiong
- Zhang Daoling
- Zhang Jue
- Zhang Sanfeng
- Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzŭ), mystical and relativistic skeptic.
- List of Taoists
- Guan Zhong, whose reforms made him disparagingly identified as Legalist, but actual philosophy did not develop until hundred years later.
- Chao Cuo
- Han Feizi, synthesizer of Legalist theories.
- Li Kui
- Li Si
- Shang Yang
- Shen Buhai
- Shen Dao
- Zi Chan
- Deng Xi
- Hui Shi, relativistic Logician who influenced Zhuangzi.
- Gongsun Long, logician who was known for his paradoxes.
School of Military
Imperial era philosophers
- Guo Xiang
- Wang Bi, Three Kingdoms philosopher
- Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove
- Huineng, 6th Buddhist patriarch of the Chan (Zen) School in China, he established the concept of "no mind".
- Linji Yixuan (Lin-chi), founder of the Linji school of Chan (Zen) Buddhism in China, a branch of which is the Rinzai school in Japan.
- Zhaozhou, famous chan (Zen) master during the 8th century, noted for his wisdom. Became known for his subtle teaching methods and his use of gongans.
- Yi Xing
- Zhi Dun
- Zhou Dunyi, argued for the inseparability of metaphysics and ethics.
- Cheng Yi, made enemies with other philosophers, resulting in his works being banned.
- Cheng Hao, brother to Cheng Yi.
- Zhu Xi (Chu Hsi), rationalist and leading figure of the School of Principle.
- Chen Hongmou, argued for racial and sexual equality in the place of education.
- Wang Fuzhi, believed Confucius' teachings had become distorted, so wrote his own commentaires.
- Wang Yangming, idealist and leading figure of the School of Mind.
- Han Yu, precursor to Neo-Confucianism, essayist, and poet.
- Lu Jiuyuan, saw moral conduct as a consequence of intuitive insights into the essence of reality.
- Shao Yong, considered one of the most scholarly men of the time.
- Su Shi, accomplished Song Dynasty writer.
- Ye Shi, stressed practical learning and applying Confucian doctrine to real world problems.
- Zhang Zai, everything is composed of qi, and that fact explains everything.
- Lai Zhide, created the Taijitu.
- Li Ao
- Liu Zongzhou – considered the last master of Song-Ming Neo-Confucianism.
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- Wang Fuzhi
- Gu Yanwu
- Yan Yuan
- Dai Zhen
- Duan Yucai
- Ji Xiaolan
- Zhang Xuecheng
- Ruan Yuan
- Kang Youwei
- Tan Sitong
- Hong Liangji
Philosophers that cannot be easily categorised
- Pan Pingge, criticised Neo-Confucianism, instead emphasized the search for truth in daily living.
- Dai Zhen, made two arguments against Neo-Confucianism.
- Fan Zhen, denied the ideas of reincarnation and body-soul dualism.
- Huan Tan
- Wang Chong
- Ma Rong
- Shen Kuo
- Ximen Bao
- Feng Youlan (Fung Yu-Lan), rationalist who integrated Neo-Confucian, Taoist, and Western metaphysics.
- Jin Yuelin, logical positivist and logician.
- Tu Weiming, ethicist.
- Xiong Shili
- Mou Zongsan
- Tang Junyi
- Xu Fuguan
- Zhang Dongsun
- Carsun Chang (Zhang Junmai)
- Tsang Lap Chuen (曾立存)