Chen Guying’s Laozi dissects different versions of the Laozi and provides close readings of traditional and contemporary commentaries, from Han Fei, Wang Bi, and Heshang Gong through to Shi Deqing, Xu Kangsheng and Ding Yuanzhi. This book completely changed Laozi studies in China, where no serious student or scholar can ignore Chen’s amazing work. It is the standard interpretation of the Laozi at nearly every Chinese university.
The English translation provided here seeks to accurately reflect the detail of Chen’s meticulous work by providing multiple English translations of key characters, allowing the reader to follow complex Sinological arguments. The close “word-for-character” translation of the Laozi text enables scholars to interact with the Laozi on a level previously unavailable in English.
Chen Guying (陈鼓应) was born in Fujian province in 1935. He received his degree in philosophy from National Taiwan University, where he taught for most of his life. Chen now teaches at Peking University's Center for Daoist Studies.
Paul J. D’Ambrosio is associate professor of Chinese philosophy at East China Normal University, fellow of the Institute of Modern Chinese Thought and Culture, Dean of the Center for Intercultural Research, and program coordinator ECNU’s graduate philosophy program in English.
Xiao Ouyang (欧阳霄) is Associate Professorial Research Fellow at Wuhan University, China. He was an Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow (2016-2018) at University College Cork, Ireland, where he also completed his PhD in philosophy in 2016.
Terms Texts (Classic, and early versions of the Laozi) Translator’s Introduction
Introduction: The Formation and Development of Laozi’s Philosophy
Appendix: Major Commentators on the Laozi
All interested in the
Laozi, Daoism, early Chinese thought, Pre-Qin philosophy, comparative philosophy, Asian thought, or non-Western philosophy. Those concerned with both philosophy, and religious or spiritual Daoism will find this book useful.