Mencius

Mencius

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Mencius was one of the great philosophers of ancient China, second only in influence to Confucius, whose teachings he defended and expanded. The Mencius, in which he recounts his dialogues with kings, dukes and military men, as well as other philosophers, is one of the Four Books that make up the essential Confucian corpus. It takes up Confucius's theories of jen,

Overview

Mencius was one of the great philosophers of ancient China, second only in influence to Confucius, whose teachings he defended and expanded. The Mencius, in which he recounts his dialogues with kings, dukes and military men, as well as other philosophers, is one of the Four Books that make up the essential Confucian corpus. It takes up Confucius's theories of jen, or goodness and yi, righteousness, explaining that the individual can achieve harmony with mankind and the universe by perfecting his innate moral nature and acting with benevolence and justice. Mencius' strikingly modern views on the duties of subjects and their rulers or the evils of war, created a Confucian orthodoxy that has remained intact since the third century BCE.

Editorial Reviews

Choice

A tremendous accomplishment that crowns Bloom's exemplary career.... Essential.

Journal of Chinese Studies

Accurate and very fluid; in addition to their other strengths, Bloom and Ivanhoe are both gifted writers of English

Harold D. Roth

Irene Bloom is a sensitive and well-trained scholar. Her translation of Mencius, one of the most influential philosophical works ever written in China, marks an important step forward for Asian and Confucian studies.

Tu Weiming

Irene Bloom's book is an exemplification of the best Sinological scholarship. Its interpretive brilliance will be a source of inspiration for years to come.

Alan K. L. Chan

While Mencius may be generally more 'accessible' when compared with other classical Chinese texts, as P. J. Ivanhoe observes, it is still a challenge to capture in translation the flavor of its fine prose and the force of its arguments. This, I think, is precisely what Bloom sets out to do, and we are richly rewarded for her effort. Her translation is eminently reliable and has a graceful directness and simplicity. Ivanhoe's introduction helpfully highlights key ethical, political, and religious views and relates them to relevant contemporary philosophical debates. This book will be widely used and consulted by scholars.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140449716
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/28/2005
Edition description:
Revised
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
322,922
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Mencius (372-298 BC) was one of the greatest Chinese philosophers, focusing on political theory and practice. Mencius, like Confucius, believed that rulers were divinely placed in order to guarantee peace and order among the people they rule. Unlike Confucius, Mencius believed that if a ruler failed to bring peace and order about, then the people could be absolved of all loyalty to that ruler and were justified to revolt. D. C. Lau is a Professor at the University of Hong Kong.

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