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Becoming Human

Li Zehou's Ethics

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Jana Rošker

Powerful Arguments

Standards of Validity in Late Imperial China

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Edited by Martin Hofmann, Joachim Kurtz and Ari Daniel Levine

The essays in Powerful Arguments reconstruct the standards of validity underlying argumentative practices in a wide array of late imperial Chinese discourses, from the Song through the Qing dynasties. The fourteen case studies analyze concrete arguments defended or contested in areas ranging from historiography, philosophy, law, and religion to natural studies, literature, and the civil examination system. By examining uses of evidence, habits of inference, and the criteria by which some arguments were judged to be more persuasive than others, the contributions recreate distinct cultures of reasoning. Together, they lay the foundations for a history of argumentative practice in one of the richest scholarly traditions outside of Europe and add a chapter to the as yet elusive global history of rationality.

The Annotated Critical Laozi

With Contemporary Explication and Traditional Commentary

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Guying Chen

Edited by Paul D'Ambrosio

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Fanxi Wang

Edited by Gregor Benton

Wang Fanxi, a leader of the Chinese Trotskyists, wrote this book on Mao more than fifty years ago. He did so while in exile in the then Portuguese colony of Macau, across the water from Hong Kong, where he had been sent in 1949 to represent his comrades in China, soon to disappear for decades into Mao’s jails. The book is an analytical study whose strength lies less in describing Mao’s life than in explaining Maoism and setting out a radical view on it as a political movement and a current of thought within the Marxist tradition to which both Wang and Mao belonged. With its clear and provoking thesis, it has, since its writing, stood the test of time far better than the hundreds of descriptive studies that have in the meantime come and gone.

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Paolo Santangelo and Gábor Boros

In The Culture of Love in China and Europe Paolo Santangelo and Gábor Boros offer a survey of the cults of love developed in the history of ideas and literary production in China and Europe between the 12th and early 19th century. They describe parallel evolutions within the two cultures, and how innovatively these independent civilisations developed their own categories and myths to explain, exalt but also control the emotions of love and their behavioural expressions. The analyses contain rich materials for comparison, point out the universal and specific elements in each culture, and hint at differences and resemblances, without ignoring the peculiar beauty and attractive force of the texts cultivating love.

Zhu Guangqian and Benedetto Croce on Aesthetic Thought

With a Translation of the Wenyi xinlixue 文艺心理学 (The Psychology of Art and Literature)

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Mario Sabattini

Edited by Elisa Levi Sabattini

In Zhu Guangqian and Benedetto Croce on Aesthetic Thought, Mario Sabattini analyses Croce’s influence on the aesthetic thought of Zhu Guangqian. Zhu Guangqian is one of the most representative figures of contemporary Chinese aesthetics. Since the '30s, he had an active role in China both on the literary and philosophical scenes, and, through his writings, he exerted an important influence in the moulding of numerous generations of intellectuals. Some of his works have been widely read, and they still provoke considerable interest in China, on the mainland as well as in Taiwan and Hong Kong. The volume also presents a revised translation of Zhu Guangqian’s Wenyi xinlixue (Psychology of Art and Literature).

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John Lagerwey

From the fifth century BC to the present and dealing with the Three Teachings (Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism) as well as popular religion, this introduction to the eight-volume Early and Modern Chinese Religion explores key ideas and events in four periods of paradigm shift in the intertwined histories of Chinese religion, politics, and culture. It shows how, in the Chinese church-state, elite processes of rationalization, interiorization, and secularization are at work in every period of major change and how popular religion gradually emerges to a position of dominance by means of a long history of at once resisting, adapting to, and collaborating with elite-driven change. Topics covered include ritual, scripture, philosophy, state policy, medicine, sacred geography, gender, and the economy. It also serves as the basis for an on-line Coursera course.

Confucius and the Analects Revisited

New Perspectives on Composition, Dating, and Authorship

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Edited by Michael Hunter and Martin Kern

Edited by Michael Hunter and Martin Kern and featuring contributions by preeminent scholars of early China, Confucius and the Analects Revisited: New Perspectives on Composition, Dating, and Authorship critically examines the long-standing debates surrounding the history of the Analects, for two millennia considered the most authoritative source of the teachings of Confucius (551–479 BCE). Unlike most previous scholarship, it does not take the traditional view of the Analects’ origins as given. Instead, it explores the validity and the implications of recent revisionist critiques from historical, philosophical, and literary perspectives, and further draws on recently discovered ancient manuscripts and new technological advances in the Digital Humanities. As such, it opens up new ways for productive engagement with the text.
Contributors: Mark Csikszentmihalyi, Paul van Els, Robert Eno, Joachim Gentz, Paul R. Goldin, Michael Hunter, Martin Kern, Esther Klein, John Makeham, Matthias L. Richter.

The Origins of Chinese Thought

From Shamanism to Ritual Regulations and Humaneness

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Zehou Li

The Origins of Chinese Thought offers an account of the origins and nature of a uniquely Chinese way of thinking that, carried through Confucian tradition, continues to define the character of Chinese culture and society. Li Zehou argues that vestiges of the practices of early shamanistic ritual, rationalized in ritual regulations and internalized in morals and values, continue to shape Chinese thought and relationships. This outlook and its understanding of the world, the divine, ourselves, one another, what is right and what is good differ fundamentally from other world traditions. As an alternative to modern liberalism, it offers unique resources for addressing modern Chinese—and even global—philosophic and moral issues.

Right, Power, and Faquanism

A Practical Legal Theory from Contemporary China

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Zhiwei Tong

In Right, Power, and Faquanism, Tong Zhiwei proposes that right and power are ultimately a unified entity which can be named “faquan,” and that the purpose of law should be to establish a balanced faquan structure and to promote its preservation and proliferation. “Faquan” is thus a jurisprudential category reflecting the understanding of the unity of right and power. It has interest protected by the law and property with defined ownership as its content, and manifests itself as the external forms of jural right, freedom, liberty, jural power, public function, authority, competence, privilege, and immunity, etc. Faquanism relies mainly on six basic concepts (faquan, right, power, quan, residual quan and duty) to analyze the content of interests and property in all legal phenomena.