Philosophy was born in China in the 6th century, in the person of Confucius. But to properly understand this beginning and its development, we need to recall the beginning of the Zhou dynasty in the 11th century BC. Animated by a vision of the Mandate of Heaven for their rule, the Zhou rulers initiated and maintained a dynasty in north China aimed at achieving a civilized life for all human beings on earth. After a brief sketch of this background, Richard Gotshalk attempts an exposition of the six major figures who gave shape to the early Chinese tradition of philosophy: Confucius, Mo-zi, Lao-zi, Mencius, Zhuang-zi, and Xun-zi. Presenting the thought of each separately, Gotshalk concludes the work by drawing together some of the basic themes and emphases which mark the early Chinese realization of philosophical thought and that distinguishes philosophy in its beginnings in China from philosophy in its beginnings in India and Greece.