Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy (Second Edition)

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Philip J. Ivanhoe, Bryan W. Van Norden
Hackett Publishing, 2005 - Philosophy - 416 pages
3 Reviews
This new edition offers expanded selections from the works of Kongzi (Confucius), Mengzi (Mencius), Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu), and Xunzi (Hsun Tzu); two new works, the dialogues Robber Zhi and White Horse; a concise general introduction; brief introductions to, and selective bibliographies for, each work; and four appendices that shed light on important figures, periods, texts, and terms in Chinese thought.

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I appreciate this translation. Was introduced in college, ~ 2002 (1st ed.) and many passages in the text stuck in my heart/mind. On later times, looking so share Laozi or Kongzi quotes, I found many versions of the quote in english, quite a bit different than the one I learned from this text. Both as my first encounter, and honestly, with a fair balance of being open to new interpretations, this is the one I love best. 

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This book was assigned for a class I took on East Asian thought. Its definitely one I'm going to hold onto when the course is finished. This compilation of works by various Chinese philosophers has given me a broad understanding of the development of thought in pre-modern China. Most of the works in the book are written by philosophers of the Confucian school. But each varies in their interpretation of how to apply Confucian principles. Critics of Confucius are also included.
The translations stayed true to the original works and the footnotes were very helpful. I do recommend having another copy of the work you're reading on hand to see how other scholars have translated the works. Its not totally necessary but it is interesting to see how different translators tackle interpretations especially when there are many concepts in Chinese philosophy which western culture has no direct translation for. So seeing varied translations might give you a better sense of what the author was actually talking about.

Selected pages


Kongzi Confucius The Analects
Mengzi Mencius
CHAPTER FOUR Laozi The Daodejing
Han Feizi
On the White Horse
Robber Zhi
Important Figures
Important Periods
Important Texts
Important Terms

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About the author (2005)

Philip J. Ivanhoe is Reader-Professor of Philosophy, City University of Hong Kong. His publications include Readings from the Lu-Wang School of Neo-Confucianism (Hackett, 2009), and Master Sun's Art of War (Hackett, 2011). Bryan W. Van Norden  is Professor in the Philosophy Department, and in the department of Chinese and Japanese, at Vassar College.

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