Mencius
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Mencius

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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  626 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Mencius was the philosopher whose influence upon ancient Chinese thought was second only to that of Confucius, whose teachings Mencius defended and expanded. The Mencius, in which he recounts his dialogues with kings, dukes, and military men, as well as other philosophers, is one of the four books that make up the essential Confucian corpus. It takes up Confucius’s theorie...more
Paperback, Revised Edition, 246 pages
Published 2004 by Penguin Books Ltd. (first published 1970)
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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.
Melissa
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
Tom
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
James
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...more
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...more
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
Jerry
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...more
Cami
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
Thomas
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.
Jellyblacktea
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".
Richard
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!
Donna
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.
Thomas
I remember finding this more humane and emotionally pleasing than the Analects, which I wasn't expecting.
Lance
The intersections between Mencius and Orthodox mysticism are amazing.
Eric Kibler
Veeeery short.

He just echoes Confucius's sparse sayings.
Norbert
The best English translation of Mencius available.
Peter J.
The best of the classic Confucian works IMO.
Rdonohue99
This fellow's quite the sage.
Avi
Amazing.
Patrick
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Goodreads Librari...: Mismatched title, author, book jacket 3 18 Dec 30, 2013 10:10AM  
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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
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 Mencius Vol 1 & 2 CL The Essential Mengzi: Selected Passages with Traditional Commentary

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