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Mozi (c. 470-390BC) lived in China during the Hundred Schools of Thought of the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476BC) and the Warring States Period. He founded the school of Mohism and argued strongly against Confucianism and Daoism. The school did not survive the Qin Dynasty (221-206BC), and throughout both traditional and modern Chinese eras was viewed largely in historical terms rather than as a school of thought that was actively being developed.

Mozi idealized the Xia Dynasty (about 21st-16th century BC), and advocated judging ideas and objects through the human senses, by their utility and their antiquity. Mozi denounced offensive warfare, extravagant funerals, and music, and tried to replace Chinese family and clan structure with the concept of "impartial caring" or "universal love". In this, he argued directly against Confucians who had argued that it was natural and correct for people to care about different people in different degrees. Mozi, by contrast, argued that one should care for all people equally, a notion that philosophers in other schools found absurd, as it would imply no special amount of care or duty towards one's parents and family.

He favored frugality, denouncing music and ceremony as extravagant, and advocated increasing the power of the state through early marriage and a system of rewards and punishments.

Mozi also held a belief in the power of ghosts and spirits, although he is often thought to have only worshipped them pragmatically. That is, he thought that heaven, tian, should be respected because failing to do so would subject one to punishment. In this regard, Mozi favoured a style of government which imitated his conception of heaven.

The Mozi is the name of the philosophical text compiled by Mohists from Mozi's thought.