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A revision of the Peter Lang edition of 1993.
A concise and accessible introduction to the evolution of the concept of moral self-cultivation in the Chinese Confucian tradition, this volume begins with an explanation of the pre-philosophical development of ideas central to this concept, followed by an examination of the specific treatment of self cultivation in the philosophy of Kongzi ("Confucius"), Mengzi ("Mencius"), Xunzi, Zhu Xi, Wang Yangming, Yan Yuan and Dai Zhen. In addition to providing a survey of the views of some of the most influential Confucian thinkers on an issue of fundamental importance to the tradition, Ivanhoe also relates their concern with moral self-cultivation to a number of topics in the Western ethical tradition. Bibliography and index are included.
"The publication of this book itself is news. Hackett has emerged as one of the three leading publishers in English of books in philosophy, especially of classic texts and studies of classic texts. Their publication of a second edition of Ivanhoe's study is a strong signal that China is now on the English-speaking world's philosophical map . . . . Besides being a harbinger, Ivanhoe's book has singular merits. He is a careful and thorough interpreter of texts, and also has the knack of presenting an insight or an interpretive move in a short space and in pointed language. This ability to say something important in a condensed and vivid way is invaluable in a book whose intended audience includes not only scholars of Chinese philosophy but also philosophically grounded readers whose previous knowledge of Chinese philosophy has been slight. Another merit is the way in which Ivanhoe presents other people's scholarship. He provides a wide range of citations of recent interpretations of the texts under discussion; but in general the explanation and Ivanhoe's answering comment are kept brief, which enhances the readability of the book for its intended audiences . . . . As a detailed presentation of Confucian accounts of moral self cultivation, and of recent scholarship pertaining to this, [this book] is I think superb and unrivaled."
—Joel J. Kupperman, Journal of Chinese Philosophy
About the Author:
Philip J. Ivanhoe is Reader-Professor of Philosophy, City University of Hong Kong.