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A History of Chinese Philosophy, Vol. 1: The Period of the Philosophers (from the Beginnings to Circa 100 B. C.) Paperback – August 21, 1983

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A History of Chinese Philosophy, Vol. 1: The Period of the Philosophers (from the Beginnings to Circa 100 B. C.) + A History of Chinese Philosophy, Vol. 2: The Period of Classical Learning (From the Second Century B.C. to the Twentieth Century A.D.) + A Short History of Chinese Philosophy
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (August 21, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691020213
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691020211
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #878,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Ho Hock Doong on April 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book comes in two volumes, volume one writes about the history of Chinese philosophy from antiquity to before the Han period while the second volume deals with Han learning onwards to Prof. Fung's time, i.e. early 20th century.
The style of Prof. Fung's writing differs from many authors of history of philosophy whereby he allows the philosophers to speak for themselves by quoting their work and integrating it into his own narrative and analysis. The result is a study which is informative, intellectual, and at the same time accessable. I have yet to see a better book on history of Chinese philosophy in the English language (although Wing Tsit Chan's "Sourcebook of Chinese Philosophy" is good but the analysis is not as succint and well interpreted as Fung's).
This book, however, can be heavy for the first timer who has just got himself/herself interested in Chinese philosophy and would like to read up more on it. For people who falls into this category, a more accessable book and to the same high quality is Dr. Fung's shorter work, "A Short History of Chinese Philosophy", also available in Amazon.com. This shorter history deals with the main philosophers, the more important ones and leave out the more remote philosopher. Dr, Fung also limited the number of quotes associated with the philosopher. Although this is so, it is still a first class work. This longer history is suitable for people who has some knowledge already and wants to know more, go deeper. It is suitable for people doing a course in Chinese philosophy in college.
If you're really into Chinese philosophy, please do not miss this book.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By DocCaligari on November 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is one of a two-volume set. This volume covers ancient Chinese philosophy up to 100 B.C. (i.e., the period of Confucius, Lao Tzu, and others). Volume two covers later Chinese philosophy. Fung Yu-lan wrote the original work in Chinese. Derk Bodde, a noted Sinologist in his own right, did an excellent job of translating the work into English. (This was no small feat, since Fung quotes from a variety of works from over two thousand years of Chinese history -- works often written in quite different styles of Classical Chinese.)
Fung Yu-lan was one of the most important Chinese philosophers and historians of philosophy of the 20th century. This book (along with volume two) has introduced generations of scholars and general readers to Chinese philosophers, and is justly considered a classic. However, it is now very much out of date. Furthermore, Fung studied in the U.S., and this influence led him to read a sort of Platonism back into some Chinese philosophical texts.
Any informed scholar should have a copy of this (in English and in Chinese), but the general reader would be better off reading Benjamin Schwartz's _The World of Thought in Ancient China_ or A.C. Graham's _Disputers of the Tao_.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book represents at least as great an accomplishment for the translator, Derk Bodde, as it does for the author, Fung Yu-lan, because Bodde rendered into English not only Fung's text in modern Chinese, but also countless passages in classical Chinese that Fung used to illustrate his points. For a generation, this was the foremost, if not the only, guide to Chinese philosophy in the English language.
Now that is no longer the case, and time has not been kind. Fung's interpretations are often outdated--it is important to bear in mind that he revised his thinking many times over the course of his life, and this collection does not contain his final views; moreover, the materials surveyed reflect scholarly interests from several decades ago. In particular, there is a noticeable emphasis on scholastic philosophy. Writings from beyond the high orthodoxy tend to get short shrift.
The two volumes are still handy as an overview of the long and engrossing history of Chinese philosophy, but unless one reads them in conjunction with more recent studies, they are likely to present a misleading picture.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book itself is a classic and the shipping was excellent.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven Lim on May 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
Mr Fung Yu-Lan's writing is very comprehensive and profound. It gives a very good background knowledge on the Chinese Philosophy throughout the ages and what really shapes Chinese to behave, act and think they way they do in the current context. There is a lot of differences between Western Philosophy and that of Chinese per se. Good read but have to digest slowly. Not a book to be read at one go. Pause and think as you read. Mr Fung is perhaps, in my opinion, one very knowledgeable researcher and writer on this said topic. Bravo! Steven Lim (RSTN).
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