Mozi (ca. 479-381), known as the first outspoken critic of Confucius, is an important but neglected figure in early Chinese philosophy. The book
Mozi, named after master Mo, was compiled in the course of the fifth - third centuries BCE. The seven studies included in the
as an Evolving Text take a fresh look at the Core Chapters, Dialogues, and Opening Chapters of the book
Mozi. Rather than presenting a unified vision of Mohist thought, the contributions search for different voices in the text and for evolutions or tensions between its chapters. By analysing the
Mozi as an evolving text, these studies not only contribute to the rejuvenation of Mozi studies, but also to the methodology of studying ancient Chinese texts.
Chinese Visions of Progress, 1895 to 1949 offers a panoramic view of reflections on progress in modern China. Since the turn of the twentieth century, the discourses on progress shape Chinese understandings of modernity and its pitfalls. As this in-depth study shows, these discourses play a pivotal role in the fields of politics, society, culture, as well as philosophy, history, and literature. It is therefore no exaggeration to say that the Chinese ideas of progress, their often highly optimistic implications, but also the criticism of modernity they offered, opened the gateway for reflections on China’s past, its position in the present world, and its future course.
Wenzi is a Chinese philosophical text that enjoyed considerable prestige in the centuries following its creation, over two-thousand years ago. When questions regarding its authenticity arose, the text was branded a forgery and consigned to near oblivion. The discovery of an age-old
Wenzi manuscript, inked on strips of bamboo, refueled interest in the text. In this combined study of the bamboo manuscript and the received text, Van Els argues that they belong to two distinct text traditions as he studies the date, authorship, and philosophy of each tradition, as well as the reception history of the received text. This study sheds light on text production and reception in Chinese history, with its changing views on authorship, originality, authenticity, and forgery, both past and present.
Literary Forms of Argument in Early China explores formal approaches to the study of philosophical texts to present new methods for the analysis of pre-modern thought in China. Attempts made by Chinese thinkers to generate literary forms of philosophical reasoning have gone unrecognised within scholarship in China and the West. Drawing together the expertise of leading scholars of early Chinese textuality, this volume addresses this omission by examining the formal characteristics of an argument, the interrelationship between form and content, as well as patterned compositions and non-linear semantic utterances. With these comprehensive new readings, the volume makes a landmark contribution to the study of written thinking in early China.
Contributors include: Wim De Reu, Joachim Gentz, Christoph Harbsmeier, Martin Kern, Dirk Meyer, Michael Nylan, Andrew H. Plaks, David Schaberg, Rudolf G. Wagner.
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.
Tang Junyi’s modern Confucianism ranks among the most ambitious philosophical projects in 20th century China. In
Tang Junyi: Confucian Philosophy and the Challenge of Modernity, Thomas Fröhlich examines Tang Junyi's intellectual reaction to a time of cataclysmic change marked by two Chinese revolutions (1911 and 1949), two world wars, the Cold War period, rapid modernization in East Asia, and the experience of exile.
The present study fundamentally questions widespread interpretations that depict modern Confucianism as essentially traditionalist and nationalistic. Thomas Fröhlich shows that Tang Junyi actually challenges such interpretations with an insightful understanding of the modern individual’s vulnerability, as well as a groundbreaking reinterpretation of Confucianism as the civil-theological foundation for liberal democracy in China.
This work builds on earlier works, which defend Confucianism against charges of sexism and present interpretations of Confucianism compatible with Feminism, but contributors go beyond the much discussed care ethics, and common arguments of how
ren (humaneness) can ground an egalitarian humanism that include gender equality. Besides ethics and political philosophy topics, this volume includes discussions in other philosophical areas such as epistemology, metaphysics, and applied philosophy. Through the encounter of Feminism and Confucius’s perspectives, each contributor generates novel answers to the questions addressed. In some cases, authors raise new questions about the chosen topic, inadequacies in how it has been addressed in previous Confucian or Feminist discourse, and/or challenges for either or both Confucianism and Feminism.
The Humanist Spirit of Daoism, Chen Guying presents a concise overview of his understanding of the meaning and significance of Daoist philosophy. Chen is a leading contemporary Chinese thinker and spokesperson for a new Daoist approach to existential and socio-political issues. He was born in mainland China in 1935, but after having resettled to Taiwan, he received his education there and was a student activist in the 1960s. He became famous in the Chinese-speaking world with his writings on Nietzsche, Laozi and Zhuangzi. At present he is a Professor at Peking University. This volume collects representative essays from the past 25 years which not only outline Chen’s interpretation of Daoism as a deeply humanist way of thinking and living, but also show how he employs this philosophy in a critique of totalitarianism and neo-imperialism.
learning and training, these are always partly the result of imitation. In comparison to a naturally present genuine humaneness and righteousness, they are of a slightly lower order. When we read in the Laozi that ‘Higher de 德 [virtue, efficacy] is not de 德 [virtue, efficacy]’ (Chapter 38), this is
泣 [to weep]: Two interpretations of this word are possible. Firstly, “to weep”, which is the usual and literal interpretation. Secondly, qi 泣 [to weep] could be a miswriting of li 莅 [attend, be present]. The characters li 莅 [attend, be present], li 莅 [reach, arrive, attend], and li 涖