Xunzi: The Complete Text

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Princeton University Press, Oct 5, 2014 - Philosophy - 432 pages

This is the first complete, one-volume English translation of the ancient Chinese text Xunzi, one of the most extensive, sophisticated, and elegant works in the tradition of Confucian thought. Through essays, poetry, dialogues, and anecdotes, the Xunzi articulates a Confucian perspective on ethics, politics, warfare, language, psychology, human nature, ritual, and music, among other topics. Aimed at general readers and students of Chinese thought, Eric Hutton’s translation makes the full text of this important work more accessible in English than ever before.

Named for its purported author, the Xunzi (literally, “Master Xun”) has long been neglected compared to works such as the Analects of Confucius and the Mencius. Yet interest in the Xunzi has grown in recent decades, and the text presents a much more systematic vision of the Confucian ideal than the fragmented sayings of Confucius and Mencius. In one famous, explicit contrast to them, the Xunzi argues that human nature is bad. However, it also allows that people can become good through rituals and institutions established by earlier sages. Indeed, the main purpose of the Xunzi is to urge people to become as good as possible, both for their own sakes and for the sake of peace and order in the world.

In this edition, key terms are consistently translated to aid understanding and line numbers are provided for easy reference. Other features include a concise introduction, a timeline of early Chinese history, a list of important names and terms, cross-references, brief explanatory notes, a bibliography, and an index.

 

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Poor sense of referencing.

Contents

An Exhortation to Learning
1
Cultivating Oneself
9
Nothing Improper
16
On Honor and Disgrace
23
Against Physiognomy
32
Against the Twelve Masters
40
On Confucius
47
The Achievements of the Ru
52
Discourse on Music
218
Undoing Fixation
224
Correct Naming
236
Human Nature Is Bad
248
The Gentleman
258
Working Songs
262
Fu
277
The Grand Digest
288

The Rule of a True King
68
Enriching the State
83
The True King and the Hegemon
99
The Way to Be a Lord
117
The Way to Be a Minister
133
On Attracting Men of Worth
141
A Debate on Military Affairs
145
The Strong State
163
Discourse on Heaven
175
Correct Judgments
183
Discourse on Ritual
201
The RightHand Vessel
318
The Way to Be a Son
325
The Proper Model and Proper Conduct
330
Duke Ai
333
Yao Asked
339
Important Terms and Names
344
CrossReference List
347
Textual Notes
359
Bibliography
385
Index
387
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

Eric L. Hutton is associate professor of philosophy at the University of Utah.

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