Ep. 16 – Tang Taizong: Philosopher King

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By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here

So who is Tang Taizong? Well, over the past few years, there has been a renewed interest in ancient philosophies of all sorts, in particular, Stoicism. And through Stoicism, Marcus Aurelius has become a familiar name. Then, if we were to use Emperor Aurelius of the Roman Empire as our reference point, then Tang Taizong would be Marcus Aurelius if Marcus Aurelius went Super Saiyan.

Tang Taizong made China the largest, richest, and most powerful country of its time. He ruled from 626 to 649 BCE. Not only known for his mind on the battlefield, defeating the invading Turks, but he was more renowned for his ability to maintain the peace. His dynasty lasted for hundreds of years and Tang Taizong's reign became the model against which all future emperors were measured. The Tang dynasty is considered the golden age in Chinese history and was treated as required studying material for future crown princes.

Another difference between Tang Taizong and Marcus Aurelius was their ability to spot talent and avoid bias. Aurelius made Commodus his heir, which many blame to be part of the reason Rome fell. And Aurelius was also betrayed by his wife, Faustina.

However, Tang Taizong despised nepotism, and his wife, Empress Wende, was one of his wisest advisors.

As Marcus wrote his rules for leadership in Meditations, I will do the same and provide for you Emperor Tang Taizong's meditations on leadership and the good life. But, in my own words...

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Things Discussed

  • Tang Taizong & Marcus Aurelius

  • Logic fallacies, bias & nepotism

  • Confucian virtues

  • Taoism

  • Leadership

  • Good life & strategic living

  • Loss aversion

  • Nassim Nicholas Taleb & harm vs. ruin

  • Intellectual yet idiot

  • Dunning-Kruger effect

  • Self-examination

Books I Recommend:

Music

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