The Art of Rulership: A Study of Ancient Chinese Political Thought

Overview

Roger Ames first traces the evolution of five key concepts in early Chinese political philosophy and then analyzes these concepts as they are developed in The Art of Rulership. The Art of Rulership is Book Nine of the Huai Nan Tzu, an anthology of diverse and far-ranging contents compiled under the patronage of Liu An (prince of Huai Nan) and presented to the court of Wu Ti during the first century of the Former Han (perhaps as early as 140 B.C.). Ames demonstrates that the political theory contained in The Art ...
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Overview

Roger Ames first traces the evolution of five key concepts in early Chinese political philosophy and then analyzes these concepts as they are developed in The Art of Rulership. The Art of Rulership is Book Nine of the Huai Nan Tzu, an anthology of diverse and far-ranging contents compiled under the patronage of Liu An (prince of Huai Nan) and presented to the court of Wu Ti during the first century of the Former Han (perhaps as early as 140 B.C.). Ames demonstrates that the political theory contained in The Art of Rulership shares an underlying sympathy with precepts of Taoist and Confucian origin, and contains a systematic political philosophy that is not only unique but compelling. The book presents a political theory that tempers lofty ideals with functional practicability. While the spirit of the work is strongly Taoist and Confucian, this spirit is provided with a Legalist political framework in which it can be implemented, nurtured, and cultivated.
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Editorial Reviews

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Ames (Chinese philosophy, U. of Hawaii) first traces the evolution of five key concepts in early Chinese political philosophy and then analyzes these concepts as they are developed in The Art of Rulership, which is Book Nine of the Huai Nan Tzu, an anthology of diverse and wide-ranging contents compiled under the patronage of Liu An (prince of Huai Nan) and presented to the court of Wu Ti during the first century of the Former Han (c.140 B.C.). Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791420621
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/1994
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

1. Philosophy of History
Confucius and the Confucian Conception of History
Lao Tzu and the Taoist Conception of History
Shang Yang and the Legalist Conception of History
The Huai Nan Tzu's Conception of History
The Art of Rulership's Conception of History

2. WU-WEI (Nonaction/Doing Nothing/Acting Naturally)
Wu-wei in Pre-Ch'in Confucian Texts
Wu-wei in Pre-Ch'in Taoist Texts
Wu-wei in Pre-Ch'in Legalist Texts
Wu-wei in The Art of Rulership

3. SHIH (Strategic Advantage/Political Purchase)
Development of Shih as a Special Military Term
Development of Shih as a Special Legalist Term
Shih in The Art of Rulership

4. FA (Penal Law)
Fa in Pre-Ch'in Political Philosophy
Fa in The Art of Rulership

5. YUNG CHUNG (Utilizing the People)
Yung Chung in the Lü-shih ch'un-ch'iu and Han Fei Tzu
Yung Chung in The Art of Rulership
Conclusion

6. LI MIN (Benefiting the People)
Self-Interest (Szu Li)
Benefiting the People (Li Min)

HUAI NAN TZU, Book Nine: The Art of Rulership

Notes

Bibliography

Glossary

Index

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