Basic Writings: Basic Writings

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Columbia University Press, 1996 - Philosophy - 177 pages
2 Reviews

Hsün Tzu set forth the most complete well-ordered philosophical system of his day. Although basically Confucian, he differed with Mencius, his famous predecessor in the Confucian school, by asserting that the original nature of man is evil. To counteract this evil, he advocated self-improvement, the pursuit of learning, the avoidance of obsession, and constant attention to ritual in all areas of life. With a translation by the noted scholar Burton Watson, includes an introduction to the philosopher in relation to Chinese history and thought. Readers familiar with Hsün Tzu's work will find that Watson's lucid translation breaths new life into this classic. For those not yet acquainted with Hsün Tzu, will reach a new generation who will find his ideas on government, language, and order and safety in society surprisingly close to the concerns of our own age.

 

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User Review  - xuebi - LibraryThing

Once again Burton Watson provides an insight into pre-Classical Chinese philosophy, this time translating a selection of the Xunzi by Xun Zi (Hsün Tzu): a Confucian but not like Mencius or Confucius ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - antiquary - LibraryThing

Interesting as representing the more pessimistic and severe side of Confucianism, in contrast to the gentler Mencius. H. is less popular but probably represents a lot of the grimmer side of Confucianism in practice. Read full review

Contents

ENCOURAGING LEARNING
15
IMPROVING YOURSELF
24
THE REGULATIONS OF A KING
33
DEBATING MILITARY AFFAIRS
56
A DISCUSSION OF HEAVEN
79
A DISCUSSION OF RITES
89
A DISCUSSION OF MUSIC
112
DISPELLING OBSESSION
121
RECTIFYING NAMES
139
MANS NATURE IS EVIL
157
INDEX
173
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About the author (1996)

Burton Watson is one of the world's best-known translators from the Chinese and Japanese. His translations include The Lotus Sutra, The Vimalakirti Sutra, Ryokan: Zen Monk-Poet of Japan, Saigyo: Poems of a Mountain Home, and The Columbia Book of Chinese Poetry: From Early Times to the Thirteenth Century, all published by Columbia.

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