Hsün Tzu set forth the most complete well-ordered philosophical system of his day. Although basically Confucian, he differed with Mencius, his famous predecessor in the Confucian school, by asserting that the original nature of man is evil. To counteract this evil, he advocated self-improvement, the pursuit of learning, the avoidance of obsession, and constant attention to ritual in all areas of life. With a translation by the noted scholar Burton Watson, includes an introduction to the philosopher in relation to Chinese history and thought. Readers familiar with Hsün Tzu's work will find that Watson's lucid translation breaths new life into this classic. For those not yet acquainted with Hsün Tzu, will reach a new generation who will find his ideas on government, language, and order and safety in society surprisingly close to the concerns of our own age.
Burton Watson is one of the world's best-known translators from the Chinese and Japanese. His translations include The Lotus Sutra, The Vimalakirti Sutra, Ryokan: Zen Monk-Poet of Japan, Saigyo: Poems of a Mountain Home, and The Columbia Book of Chinese Poetry: From Early Times to the Thirteenth Century, all published by Columbia.
Preface, by Burton Watson vForeword, by Win. Theodore de Bary.....viiOutline of Early Chinese History xIntroduction 1Encouraging Learning 15Improving Yourself 24The Regulations of a King 33Debating Military Affairs 56A Discussion of Heaven 79A Discussion of Rites 89A Discussion of Music 112Dispelling Obsession 121Rectifying Names 139Man's Nature is Evil 157Index 173