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Confucianism is an ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the chinese philosopher confucius (孔夫子 kǒng fūzǐ, or k'ung-fu-tzu, lit. "master kong", 551–479 bc). confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the spring and autumn period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the han dynasty. following the abandonment of legalism in china after the qin dynasty, confucianism became the official state ideology of the han.