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Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  367 ratings  ·  22 reviews
This new edition offers expanded selections from the works of Kongzi (Confucius), Mengzi (Mencius), Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu), and Xunzi (Hsun Tzu); two new works, the dialogues Robber Zhi and White Horse; a concise general introduction; brief introductions to, and selective bibliographies for, each work; and four appendices that shed light on important figures, periods, texts, and ter ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published December 1st 2005 by Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. (first published December 1st 2001)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  367 ratings  ·  22 reviews

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Luke Coffey
Apr 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
For readers looking for a solid, robust introduction to early Chinese thought, this is a great compilation. Ivanhoe and Lau bring a solid unification to the cornerstone texts of the Spring and Autumn (770-476 BCE) and Warring States (476-221 BCE) periods of pre-Qin China. The reader is introduced to the institutional progenitors of early Confucian thought (Confucius/Kongzi, Mengzi, Xunxi) that would help shape the China of the following 2500 years. We also receive the foundational text for China ...more
Chin Jian Xiong
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Good selection of readings from many of the main thinkers. Although Laozi & Zhuangzi are the most fun & mystical, I somehow orient to Xunzi because he seems to have the most balance from the excerpts provided. Han Feizi is a glorious asshole.
Oct 04, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy, history
I left the book with an understanding of Yi and Li. The historic roles of individuals in a Confucius system and why Confucianism was so relevant when it was at its height.

A former philosophy professor told me that it has some of the most accurate translations from the Analects. Furthermore, the text doe a nice job at showing how certain movements and schools of thought were highly reactive, like Taoism.

This is a highly academic text. I found myself struggle at times to push through. In part, b
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
What a lovely compilation. Yes, it's incomplete, but do you really want to read those seven books completely? There were all the important passages, those you may came across in your life, those mostly cited. And books are served in appropriate length. 'Cause even thought Daodejing is beatyful boook I can't imagine reading whole book, it's so repetative... and it's not the only book on which I have this opinion.

I highly recommend this book, it gives you insight in their writing styles, in their
Emily Carroll
Feb 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a great collection of books by the most prominent Chinese philosophers. It was nice having the whole collection in one book, it made it easier to compare and contrast the different schools of thought. Some of the translation is bias and not exact on the terms. Ivanhoe also uses a lot of footnotes to explain historical context, terms and meanings, which is helpful. But I think he focuses on his opinion a little too much. Over all a good book to have if you are at all interested in Chines ...more
Jonathan Spencer
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just reading this book will make you a better person. Nobody spends the time to think about what it is to be right, virtuous, or just anymore. Consider the perspectives of the sages and see how you can implement their teachings. This volume helps contextualize the texts with footnotes that explain historical references and where the philosophers agreed and disagreed. If you agree with Han Fei, though, please do not run for president.
Jaena Rae
Aug 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Nice, clear translation of a number of Chinese philosophers: Kongzi, Mengzi, Xunzi, etc. The general introductions for each philosopher were also very good, and helped to frame the philosophers' texts in the periods in which they lived. When selecting this class, I was worried that my unfamiliarity with Chinese philosophy would make it difficult, but having this as a textbook made all the difference.
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm not a specialist in Chinese philosophy, but I've been developing a teaching competency and I'm now regularly teaching a lower level Asian philosophy course that includes a unit on classical Chinese philosophy. This is a helpful book for beginners with mostly accessible, readable translations. Sometimes I wonder if maybe longer and more robust introductions to each school would help, but the short introductions are adequate with some help from a teacher or other sources.
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
It's a pretty good primer on the basics of Kongzi, Mengzi, Zhuangzi, Xunzi, Laozi, and Han Feizi. Some of the readings are a bit dense, but that's to be expected. The editor is very good and the intros to each section provide good overviews of the life and beliefs of each philosophers, plus pretty detailed footnotes. I read this for class and probably would not have picked it up otherwise, but if you want a refresher or introduction to these philosophers I think it's a good selection of works.
Sep 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Works in this edition include Analects, Mozi, Mengzi, Daodejing (the full text), Zhuangzi, Xunzi, Han Feizi, "White Horse" and "Robber Zhi". A great introduction to a lot of different modes of thought.

I'm continually struck by the parallels between the dialectic amongst this group, and that which I am more familiar with, in Western philosophy.
Luna Allen
Many of the concerns and issues shared in modernity have been discussed and held by people over the ages. Some of the insights offered here, and the questions posed, expose a reader to alternative approaches to current concerns.
Maria Tucker
Apr 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: grad, undergrad
Awesome collection of Chinese philosophy. Read it in undergrad, then stupidly took it home to NM; bought another copy for grad school and still pick it up every once in a while. Has a lot of essentials.
David Markwell
A great collection of Chinese philosophical texts. A good introduction to the thoughts of China
Daisy Battersby
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
I neither enjoyed it nor despised it, it was okay, although I disagree with a lot of the points of views of the philosophers included.
Nick Pelonia
Sep 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Very convenient, has the entire "Daodejing," some of "The Analects," and more (Mohism, Legalism) all in one book.
R. August
Dec 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Great introduction to all the major thinkers, though I think I appreciated PJ Ivanhoe's work more of roughly the same title more.
David Withun
Nov 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Dec 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: for-school
Feb 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Not quite sure how I feel about this book yet, just started.
Sofie Tyger
Mar 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Zhuangzi is my favourite.
Brittney Martinez
Oct 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: grad-school
I wish the footnotes/annotations were better as this was a difficult read. The annotations provided aren't every helpful in understanding the text.
Jomar Da Silva
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Diogo Amr
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Joshua Newton
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May 07, 2014
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Oct 05, 2014
Peter Allen
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Jan 24, 2017
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Philip J. Ivanhoe is an historian of Chinese thought, particularly of Confucianism and Neo-Confucianism. He is a professor at the City University of Hong Kong.