In this volume, distinguished philosopher Antonio S. Cua offers a collection of original studies on Xunzi, a leading classical Confucian thinker, and on other aspects of Chinese philosophy. While each essay individually makes an important contribution to the study of Chinese philosophy, the book as a whole represents a major scholarly achievement.
In the first part of the book, Cua focuses on Xunzi. Although the topic of human nature is a recurrent concern for Xunzi, recent studies have neglected to analyze the key notions and arguments that he offers. Cua shows that Xunzi deserves attention from moral philosophers, not only because of the clarity and depth of his thought, but also for the ways in which he focused on language and for his method of presenting theses dealing with the relation between morality and human nature; the significance of ritual for governance in a civilized community; the ethical uses of history; the possibility of ethical knowledge; and honor and shame.
The second part of the book deals with key aspects of Chinese philosophy and the Confucian vision. Cua discusses the emergence of Chinese philosophy; the notion of practical causation presupposed in Confucian ethics; implications for the quality of human life in the context of environmental ethics; the problem of moral failure; and metaphysical grounding of Confucian ethics.
Throughout the book, the methodology exemplifies a constructive interpretation and analysis of major concepts. Cua's work offers new opportunities for the study and development of Chinese philosophy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Antonio S. Cua is Professor Emeritus in the School of Philosophy at The Catholic University of America. He is the author of numerous books, including Moral Vision and Tradition and Ethical Argumentation: A Study of Hsun Tzu's Moral Epistemology. He also serves as the coeditor of the Journal of Chinese Philosophy, associate editor of the International Journal of Philosophy, and editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of Chinese Philosophy.
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK:
"Cua's total body of work on Xunzi is the deepest and richest work in English on this thinker. . . . Cua is one of the great senior figures in the field, and this book will be a useful reference in courses in Chinese and comparative studies."—David Wong, Duke University
"The essays in this book exemplify a deep integration of scholarship and analytical rigor that clarify the thoughts of certain thinkers, concepts and issues in Chinese and Comparative Philosophy. . . . This book is of interest not only to those working in the area of Chinese and Comparative Philosophy, but also to Western philosophers who should benefit from the insightful discussions into the topics mentioned. The reader will be inspired by Professor Cua's rare combination of scholarship, philosophical skills, insights, and wisdom."—Kim-chong Chong, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
"Cua brings an analytical approach to both Xunzi and the other issues in Chinese thought covered in this collection. . . . [H]is scholarship and attention to detail are striking. . . . [T]he drawing together of more of Cua's works on Xunzi makes this book an important resource, and the assorted essays in the second section all address issues relevant to contemporary work on Chinese thought." — Andrew Lambert, Chinese Review International
"Antonio Cua strongly affirms Xunzi's intellectual excellence in his Human Nature, Ritual, and History, a distinguished addition to the field. Cua is a preeminent scholar whose work incorporates a deep understanding of Chinese philosophy. . . . Cua highlights valuable aspects of reasoning and argumentation in Chinese philosophy. His passion for Xunzi's philosophy is palpable and he convincingly demonstrates the intellectual acumen of this e