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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Unmarked hardcover with dust jacket. Book has slightly bumped corners on back cover, name plate inside front cover, & a small store label inside back cover. Rest of book is like new. Jacket has a creased flap, chipped on top by the spine, worn on the corners & edges with tiny tears. Tight spine. K71L2KF
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Three ways of thought in ancient China Hardcover – 1953

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 1953
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Editorial Reviews

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Fascinating both for its own sake and for its parallels with our own ways of thought in the West - E M Forster --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From the Back Cover

“Whether he is ‘journeying with Chuang Tzu in the realm of Nothing Whatever,’ analyzing the Confucian ideal type of Government by Goodness (as advocated by Mencius), or discussing the practical advice to rulers given by Han Fei Tzu and other realists, Mr. Waley contrives, as is his wont, to extract savory and satisfying fare from the frequently dry bones of ancient Chinese philosophy. . . . The book is enhanced by the polished and lucid style of Mr. Waley’s translations.”—The Times Literary Supplement
“Chuang Tzu, Mencius, and the Realists, three conflicting points of view from the 4th century B.C., are discussed in this well-presented work.”—Second Wave Books on Asia
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 275 pages
  • Publisher: G. Allen & Unwin; Third Edition edition (1953)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0007J5QOY
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,940,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This work is one of the very few great English language classics in the exposition of traditional Chinese thought. It is delightful reading. Its author, Arthur Waley, remains long after his death the premier translator of traditional Chinese and Japanese literature. The pleasure of reading this book for the first time, years ago, influenced me in great measure to complete a doctorate in Far Eastern Languages and Civilizations. Today, it is the first book I recommend that my students read as an introduction to traditional Chinese thought; the book gives a clear glimpse of the value systems of people in China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Singapore right down to today. Three Ways of Thought in Ancient China, by Arthur Waley, is a book not to be missed by any educated person. Enjoy!
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Format: Paperback
Mr. Arthur Waley has proven that a good work can stand the test of time. First published almost 60 years ago this work does a wonderful jobof explianing the differences between various schools of thought not just in China but in the rest of Asia.
The differences between the teachings of Chuang Tzu, Mencius and The realists may not seem like much to us westerners but these three groups have all done a lot to shape Asia.
The thing I like most about this book is that it is short and broken up into three parts. Therefore your mind doesn't do a blowout trying to digest all the material and you can study each school indivudally.
Overall-Great book, most of the stories are very deep and will hold some meaning for everyone if you are just willing to listen.
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Format: Paperback
If ancient Chinese philosophy is new territory for you, definitely start by reading this book. Arthur Waley's style is very readable, combining short translations with insightful commentary and analysis. I found the stories from Chuang Tzu to be especially entertaining. Before this, I read Waley's translations of "The Analects of Confucius" and the "Tao Te Ching". These were good but they left me with more questions than answers and they were a good deal drier in their approaches. For those with a casual interest in Chinese philosophy this book will scratch your itch. For those interested in learning more it will guide you in right direction. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
It's easy to give short shrift to a book that hopes to summarize three major traditions of philosophy in just over 200 pages. What makes this brilliant is Waley's assembling views of Daoist, Confucist and Realist thinking in the form of imaginary colloquia between the various philosophers.
The result is an introduction, for the Western reader, to the rich and highly conflicted intellectual background of Chinese civilization.

As China becomes more of a world power, this little book, even without mention of Maoist thought and legacy will remain a good, short introduction to the foundations of that world.

Lynn Hoffman, author of bang BANG
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