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This new translation and study of the early Daoist classic the Laozi or Daodejing is sure to become a favorite among readers of Eastern philosophy and religion. Philip Ivanhoe offers a substantial and insightful Introduction in which he explores some of the major philosophical themes of the text. The translation also provides numerous notes, which direct the reader to related passages within the Daodejing and to other texts of the period, as well as explaining the philosophical issues at play in the text and relating these to contemporary issues in philosophy. A unique feature of this work is its Language Appendix. This includes eight translations of the opening passage of the text, representing the work of well-known and influential scholars, and explains, line-by-line, how each might have reached the particular interpretation settled on. This fascinating exercise illustrates the numerous differences in translation and text interpretation and invites the reader to uncover some of the mysteries of the translation process.

Accurate, clear, and accessible translation of a classic text.
Substantial philosophical introduction gives readers a succinct insight into the text's guiding ideas.
Language Appendix: a unique feature that allows the reader to immediately compare and appreciate a translator's work.
Painting and calligraphy dispersed throughout the text, plus discussion of the influence of Daoist philosophy on these arts.
Affordable price!
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Editorial Reviews

Ivanhoe (philosophy and Asian languages and culture, U. of Michigan) has here slightly revised his translation of the foundational Chinese Taoism text for (2000). He has also added more notes explaining philosophical points of interest, an introduction exploring main themes and ideas, and an appendix of translations of the first chapter by eight eminent scholars and a line-by-line explanation of their rationale. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780872207028
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/1/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 125
  • Product dimensions: 4.80 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Philip J. Ivanhoe is Reader-Professor of Philosophy at the City University of Hong Kong.
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