The Animal and the Daemon in Early China / Edition 1

The Animal and the Daemon in Early China / Edition 1

by Roel Sterckx
Pub. Date:
State University of New York Press

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The Animal and the Daemon in Early China / Edition 1

Exploring the cultural perception of animals in early Chinese thought, this careful reading of Warring States and Han dynasty writings analyzes how views of animals were linked to human self perception and investigates the role of the animal world in the conception of ideals of sagehood and socio-political authority. Roel Sterckx shows how perceptions of the animal world influenced early Chinese views of man’s place among the living species and in the world at large. He argues that the classic Chinese perception of the world did not insist on clear categorical or ontological boundaries between animals, humans, and other creatures such as ghosts and spirits. Instead the animal realm was positioned as part of an organic whole and the mutual relationships among the living species—both as natural and cultural creatures—were characterized as contingent, continuous, and interdependent.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780791452707
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication date: 04/28/2002
Series: SUNY series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 385
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Contextualizing Animals1
The Animal and the Daemon5
Animals as Images8
Chapter 1Defining Animals15
Problems of Definition16
Animals in Texts21
Naming Animals and Animal Names29
Chapter 2Animals and Officers45
Managing Animals46
Ritual Animals56
Animals and Spirits61
Calendrical Animals64
Chapter 3Categorizing Animals69
Qi and Blood73
Yinyang and the Five Phases: Correlative Taxonomies78
Toward a Moral Taxonomy88
Chapter 4The Animal and Territory93
Animal Patterns as Social Patterns96
Animals and Territory101
Animals beyond Territory110
Chapter 5Transforming the Beasts123
Animals and the Origins of Music124
Animals, Music, and Moral Transformation129
The Transformation of Animals through Virtue137
Moral Hybrids153
"Speaking with Birds and Beasts"158
Chapter 6Changing Animals165
A Cosmogony of Change167
Demonic Transformations171
Functional Metamorphosis173
Autonomous Transformations177
Symbolic Metamorphosis186
Portentous Transformations194
Metamorphosing Agents198
Critique of Change200
Chapter 7Strange Animals205
Defining the Strange206
Interpreting the Strange211
Confucius Names the Beasts216
When the Grackos Nest in Lu225
The Dog as Daemon231
The Capture of the White Unicorn233

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