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Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy Paperback – December 1, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0872207806 ISBN-10: 0872207803 Edition: Second Edition,2

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company; Second Edition,2 edition (December 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872207803
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872207806
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Philip J. Ivanhoe is Reader-Professor of Philosophy, City University of Hong Kong.

Bryan W. Van Norden is Professor in the Philosophy Department, and in the department of Chinese and Japanese, at Vassar College.


More About the Author

Philip J. Ivanhoe (Ph.D. Stanford University) is Chair Professor of East Asian and Comparative Philosophy and Religion at City University of Hong Kong, where he has taught since 2007. He specializes in the history of East Asian philosophy and religion and its potential for contemporary ethics. Ivanhoe is director of the Center for East Asian and Comparative Philosophy (CEACOP) (http://www6.cityu.edu.hk/sa/ceacop/) and the Laboratory on Korean Philosophy in Comparative Perspectives (http://www6.cityu.edu.hk/sa/kpcp/index.htm).

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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It simple, and easy to understand.
Art.universe
The notes accompanying Dr. Slingerland's translation of the Analects are, I think, somewhat banal.
"mc_recognize"
A good addition to the library of students of asian philosophy.
w.j.scotson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By "mc_recognize" on September 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
Being interested in Chinese philosophy, I recently purchased this anthology, edited by Drs. P. J. Ivanhoe and Bryan W. Van Norden, which contains excellent translations of the selections of seven classical Chinese thinkers: Mozi, Han Feizi, Kongzi, Xunzi, Mengzi, Laozi, and Zhuangzi.
Despite being a beginner when it comes to Chinese philosophy, I find all the translations to be very readable and the notes and interpretative material, generally, to be sufficient. (more on this later)
The appendices--Important Texts, Important Periods, Important Terms, Important Figures--are also quite helpful if you need further information/clarification on a particular term or figure.
The only two things that disappointed me about this anthology are as follows:
(1) The use of "filial piety" as a transation for xiao (hsiao). The term filial piety was first used by James Legge back in the 1861. And, as scholars such as Dr. David Li have pointed out, Kongzi (Confucius) never in his life spoke about religion. So, why Dr. Slingerland, who translated the Analects section of the book, continues to use it (see Analects 2.7, p.5) mystifies me. (Dr. Van Norden, I believe, in his translation of selections of the Mengzi, also translates xiao as filial piety.)
(2) The notes accompanying Dr. Slingerland's translation of the Analects are, I think, somewhat banal. For example, he points out in 1.9 that Zengzi is a disciple of Kongzi; yet, he does not point out that 2.1 is the Analects first statement regarding government. However, his notes increase in frequency and quality as the translation continues.
I HIGHLY recommend this anthology; it is probably the best anthology and sourcebook of early Chinese philosophy currently available.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By PurpleKat VINE VOICE on June 2, 2003
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I got this book as a textbook for a class that I subsequently dropped, but I decided that as long as I had it, I might as well read it. I'm glad I did! This book is a wonderful overview of the greatest Chinese philosophers. Each section begins with a few pages recounting what is known about each philosopher covered and what their central beliefs are. In addition, the actual texts are heavily footnoted with explanations of the language, pertinant cross references, and other little facts that make the reading both more informative and more enjoyable. This is a wonderful book for anyone who's looking to get a decent understanding of the 'big name' Chinese philosophers, and will help anyone looking to show off at parties ;) Even if you're not taking a class, this is a wonderful book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Elle on January 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
This anthology is comprised of various selections by China's most notable classical philosophers: primarily Confucius, Mozi, Mencius, Laozi, Zhuangzi, Xunzi, and Han Feizi. With these philosophers, the book introduces Confucianism and the thinkings of Confucius's disciples, who often interpreted his teachings in very different ways, and the book also introduces philosophies/ways of thinking that developed as reactions to Confucius, namely Han Feizi's Legalism. The Daoist way is also introduced via the inclusion of the Daodijing, a number of short poems that eludicate the Way.

There is little commentary on the selections themselves, perhaps for the best, as I find studying Chinese philosophy to be a deeply personal and spiritual experience, but the introductions of each philosopher are particularly helpful in giving some historical background, and connecting each philosopher with not only each other, but also with the problems of their times. Many of these men were government officials, so it becomes interesting to see that occasionally, the development of their philosophies is related to the course of politics at the time.

Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy is a wonderful introduction to Chinese philosophy, and as often it only contains selections of each philosopher (for example, only parts of Confucius's Analects), the more serious student should consider supplementing the book with the complete texts.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By PurpleKat VINE VOICE on June 2, 2003
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I got this book as a textbook for a class that I subsequently dropped, but I decided that as long as I had it, I might as well read it. I'm glad I did! This book is a wonderful overview of the greatest Chinese philosophers. Each section begins with a few pages recounting what is known about each philosopher covered and what their central beliefs are. In addition, the actual texts are heavily footnoted with explanations of the language, pertinant cross references, and other little facts that make the reading both more informative and more enjoyable. This is a wonderful book for anyone who's looking to get a decent understanding of the 'big name' Chinese philosophers, and will help anyone looking to show off at parties ;) Even if you're not taking a class, this is a wonderful book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By RedStorm98 on March 13, 2010
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By far one of the best written books on Chinese philosophy. In addition to a wealth of precise translations the curt commentary provides great insight into the dense works.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dan Warden on February 21, 2013
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Wonderful overview of Chinese thought, and cheap! There's a great glossary in the back of the book too which is very useful.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By toronto on December 15, 2010
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This is easily the best anthology of Chinese philosophy out there, and the second edition is better than the first. As with most anthologies, one only wants it longer, a few of one's favourite passages are missing. So why not go and buy the original?
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