Xun Zi, one of the principal thinkers of the pre-imperial period and as such still widely read, ought to appear on any reading list on Chinese intellectual history.
Dr. Sato's volume deals with the origin and formation of Xun Zi’s political thought, with close focus on the intellectual activity of the Jixia Academy and its impact on this synthesizer’s theory on rituals and social norms.
The author convincingly deals with the problems of textual authenticity and biography. The main part of the work treats the shift of intellectual inquiry from an argument of ethical matters to an analysis of the principle(s) of socio-political mechanism, thus showing Xun Zi as a formative synthesizer of the two main streams of early Chinese intellectual discourse.
Masayuki Sato, Ph.D. (2001) in Philosophy, Leiden University, is Assistant Professor of Chinese Philosophy at National Taiwan University. His work focuses on the formation of pre-Qin Political Theory.
“...Masayuki Sato's new books stands out for its unparalleled use of Japanese scholarship and will, for that reason alone, be valuable to scholars and students interested in Xunzi.” – in: Journal of Asian Studies, 2004
All those interested in the intellectual history of China, the origin and characteristics of Chinese political philosophy, as well as classical Chinese philosophy.