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The Works

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  700 ratings  ·  25 reviews
The unmatchable Chinese Classics edition, which contains the full Chinese text, Legge's English translation on the same page, full notes, citation of Chinese commentators, plus a full dictionary of all Chinese characters used. With this one volume the Sinologist, philosopher, or reader concerned with the Second Master in the Confucian tradition, has everything.
Hardcover, 587 pages
Published January 1st 1970 by Dover Publications
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Nov 04, 2014 Yann rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Yann by: Steve

Mencius est un sage chinois du quatrième siècle avant Jésus-Christ, soit deux siècle après Confucius. A cette époque, la Chine est divisée en "royaumes combattants" qui rivalisent pour l'hégémonie. Cet ouvrage relate des anecdotes relatifs aux messages édifiants que Mencius a voulu faire passer à ceux de ses contemporains qui étaient aux affaires afin qu'ils améliorent leur pratique du gouvernement. Elles consistent le plus souvent à être attentif au bien-être et à la prospérité du peuple, à ne
Glenn Berger
The wisest Sage to have ever lived. He said, "The principle of self-cultivation consists in nothing but trying to find the lost heart." Within these words lies the secret solution to life's difficulties.
I only wish that I could read Chinese in order to understand Mencius' linguistic subtleties. Plenty of these, including plays on cognitive Chinese words, are pointed out in the footnotes of the Penguin Classics version. In his last book, Mencius explains that benevolence means man, which is perhaps a tenant of his entire philosophy. According to the footnotes, in some dialect of the Chinese language, these two words are literally the same. Mencius taught that humans were inherently good, and str ...more
Benjamin Parry
#Mencius Review

"Now is the time when one can, with half the effort, achieve twice as much as the ancients"

Mencius is the second of the four books that form the Chinese Confucian canon along with: The Analects of Confucius), Doctrine of the Mean and Great Learning. These four books combined with the five classics were the backbone of the imperial examinations in China for over a thousand years. After having now read the two works it is not difficult to see why they were instrumental to Chinese ph
Mencius (Latinization of 孟子, which can be transcribed as Mèngzǐ or Meng-tzu; trad. 372-289 BCE), was perhaps the influential thinker in Chinese history. Living about 150-200 years after Confucius, his interpretations of the Master's teachings eventually became orthodoxy to the Chinese empire, required reading for all those taking the civil service examination, the only means of social mobility. His and Confucius' works are seen as the apotheosis of the early Chinese Classicist tradition (that is ...more
The Mencius is the seminal, canonical Confucian work in which Mencius (Mengzi 孟子) expounds on what Confucius said in the Analects, outlining the principles of the innate goodness of human nature, good Confucian government, and the importance of education and destiny. The Mencius was subsequently canonised by the Neo-Confucian scholar Zhu Xi and formed the basis (along with the three other canonical texts) for the imperial examinations until the fall of the Qing.

Unlike his predecessor, Mencius do
Silvio Curtis
Mengzi (also called Mencius in English) is supposed to be the most influential Confucian philosopher after Confucius. According to my professor, his canonical status owes a lot to the neo-Confucians of the early 2nd millennium.

The book with his name has the form of a collection of short sayings and conversations of Mengzi, mostly between a paragraph and a page long. The point he makes over and over is that human nature is good - that is, everyone has the emotional basis for good actions if they
R. August
People are genetically prone to sloth, after all, biologically we can never be sure where the next meal is coming from so there is no point wasting the calories already acquired. What does this have to with Mencius? Namely that if we want to do anything with ourselves we need a stronger hand than what Mencius prescribes - being all lovey-dovey with our pursuit of self-cultivation will only lead to complacency and smugness. To work on yourself you need Xunzi, but if you want others to follow you ...more
Mencius is a confucianist and his work describe the confucian philosophy in a more elaborate manner than Confucius himself. In this work, Mencius used a lot of historical events to explain his point, which can be difficult with readers without prior knowledge of ancient chinese history.
I especially like his vision of benevolent government. Western critics like to say that Confucianism is a feudal philosophy which is used to justify autocratic government. I have to say that they should read this
William Murakami-brundage
Core of Chinese philosophy, reading Mencius and related works can shed light on the whys and hows of otherwise obtuse rituals and mannerisms found throughout this region's tenets.
Mencius is a student of Confucianism, and therefore, this book was a lot like The Analects of Confucius. At first, I thought it was pretty repetitive and boring. However, I learned when to skim, and when to really read, and the parts that were really worth reading were really good reading. He, like philosophers before him, was looking for a way to become the best person he could be, and a way for leaders to become the most virtuous so they could lead the best of their abilities. A great discussi ...more
Mencius' logic is a little hard to grasp at times, but the basic principles of his thought become clear through repetition. It was helpful to read this as an elucidation of Confucius -- the core ideas are the same, but Mencius draws them out a bit more, and deals a little more explicitly with the concept of "human nature." But I have to admit that the Analects is a much more interesting book to read.
Compared with his teacher, Confucious, Mencius is more cunning. He always used his stratagem to ensnare the King. His metaphor is very appropriate and satirical. But the gap between him and his master is very big. He seemed to be much slyer than Confucious. I think that is why the King did not put him into an important position.
Ummia Gina
Mencius (372-289 BCE) was a philosopher and a scholar of Confucianism. His interpretations of Confucianism eventually became orthodoxy to the Chinese empire. This book expands on the concepts previously established in "The Analects of Confucius".
Excellent book, truly helps one understand Confucius more. Lau does a fine job translating, just don't let the strange romanized names of people throw you off from the nuggets of wisdom inside. I highly recommend this book!
Just as I wasn't a fan of Confucius, I wasn't a fan of this book either. Very dry.

# 14 of 133 of Clifton Fadiman's New Lifetime Reading Plan
Cheryl Reese
I am beginning to like this book as I have been explained the meanings in more detail. First time reading into Chinese philosophy.
I remember finding this more humane and emotionally pleasing than the Analects, which I wasn't expecting.
The intersections between Mencius and Orthodox mysticism are amazing.
Eric Kibler
Veeeery short.

He just echoes Confucius's sparse sayings.
The best English translation of Mencius available.
Peter J.
The best of the classic Confucian works IMO.
This fellow's quite the sage.
Charlotte Moore
Charlotte Moore marked it as to-read
Jan 25, 2015
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Goodreads Librari...: Mismatched title, author, book jacket 3 18 Dec 30, 2013 10:10AM  
  • The Book of Chuang Tzu
  • The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch
  • The Analects
  • Six Records of a Floating Life
  • The Plum in the Golden Vase or, Chin P'ing Mei: Vol. One: The Gathering
  • Selected Stories
  • The Golden Days (The Story of the Stone #1)
  • The Recognition of 'Sakuntala: A Play in Seven Acts
  • Essays in Idleness: The Tsurezuregusa of Kenko
  • The Enneads
  • Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio
  • Outlaws of the Marsh (Vol. 1-4)
  • A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy
  • Hua Hu Ching: The Unknown Teachings of Lao Tzu
  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches
  • The Long Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Digha Nikaya
  • The Nature of the Gods
  • Journey to the West (4-Volume Boxed Set)
Mencius (Chinese: 孟子; pinyin: Mèng Zǐ; Wade–Giles: Meng Tzu; Zhuyin Fuhao: ㄇㄥˋ ㄗˇ, most accepted dates: 372 – 289 BCE; other possible dates: 385 – 303/302 BCE) was a Chinese philosopher who was arguably the most famous Confucian after Confucius himself.

Also known by his birth name Meng Ke or Ko, Mencius was born in the State of Zou, now forming the territory of the county-level city of Zoucheng (o
More about Mencius...
Comprising The Analects of Confucius, The Sayings of Mencius, The Shi-King, The Travels of Fâ-Hien, and The Sorrows of Han The Book of Mencius (Abridged) (Wisdom of the East) Essential Mengzi: Selected Passages with Traditional Commentary 孟子(上) Mencius Vol 1 & 2 CL

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“With melted snow I boil fragrant tea.” 23 likes
“Filling with food,
Warming with clothes,
Living leisurely without learning,
It is little short of animals.”
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