Mencius

Overview

"Known throughout East Asia as Mengzi, or "Master Meng," Mencius (391-308 B.C.E.) was a Chinese philosopher of the late Zhou dynasty, an instrumental figure in the spread of the Confucian tradition, and a brilliant illuminator of its ideas. Mencius was active during the Warring States Period (403-221 B.C.E.), in which competing powers sought to control the declining Zhou empire. Like Confucius, Mencius journeyed to one feudal court after another, searching for a proper lord who could put his teachings into practice. Only a leader who possessed ...

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Mencius

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Overview

"Known throughout East Asia as Mengzi, or "Master Meng," Mencius (391-308 B.C.E.) was a Chinese philosopher of the late Zhou dynasty, an instrumental figure in the spread of the Confucian tradition, and a brilliant illuminator of its ideas. Mencius was active during the Warring States Period (403-221 B.C.E.), in which competing powers sought to control the declining Zhou empire. Like Confucius, Mencius journeyed to one feudal court after another, searching for a proper lord who could put his teachings into practice. Only a leader who possessed the moral qualities of a true king could unify China, Mencius believed, and in his defense of Zhou rule and Confucian philosophy, he developed an innovative and highly nuanced approach to understanding politics, self-cultivation, and human nature, profoundly influencing the course of Confucian thought and East Asian culture." Mencius is a record of the philosopher's conversations with warring lords, disciples, and adversaries of the Way, as well as a collection of pronouncements on government, human nature, and a variety of other philosophical and political subjects. Mencius is largely concerned with the motivations of human actors and their capacity for mutual respect. He builds on the Confucian idea of ren, or humaneness, and places it alongside the complementary principle of yi, or rightness, advancing a complex notion of what is right for certain individuals as they perform distinct roles in specific situations. Consequently, Mencius's impact was felt not only in the thought of the intellectual and social elite but also in the value and belief systems of all Chinese people.

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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.

Choice

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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231122054
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 5/10/2011
  • Series: Translations from the Asian Classics Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 738,841
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


D.C. Lau read Chinese at the University of Hong Kong, and, in 1946, he went to Glasgow, where he read philosophy. In 1950 he entered the School of Oriental and African Studies in London to teach Chinese philosophy. After lecturing in Chinese philosophy at the University of London he returned to Hong Kong, where he is a Professor at the Chinese University.
D.C. Lau read Chinese at the University of Hong Kong, and, in 1946, he went to Glasgow, where he read philosophy. In 1950 he entered the School of Oriental and African Studies in London to teach Chinese philosophy. After lecturing in Chinese philosophy at the University of London he returned to Hong Kong, where he is a Professor at the Chinese University.
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Table of Contents

Introduction
I Emperor Hui of Liang: Book One 1
II Emperor Hui of Liang: Book Two 19
III Kung-Sun Ch'ou: Book One 41
IV Kung-Sun Ch'ou: Book Two 61
V Duke Wen of T'eng: Book One 79
VI Duke Wen of T'eng: Book Two 99
VII Li Lou: Book One 119
VIII Li Lou: Book Two 139
IX Wan Chang: Book One 157
X Wan Chang: Book Two 177
XI Master Kao: Book One 195
XII Master Kao: Book Two 213
XIII To Fathom the Mind: Book One 233
XIV To Fathom the Mind: Book Two 255
Notes 275
Historical Table 283
Key Terms 285
Further Reading 287
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