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A Short History of Chinese Philosophy

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  295 ratings  ·  27 reviews
The classic chronicle of Chinese philosophical thought from the third millennium to the 20th century.

From the sage-kings of ancient China to the 1911 overthrow of the oldest monarchical system in the world, Chinese philosophy has evolved and influenced schools of thought around the world. In an accessible voice, A Short History of Chinese Philosophy clearly illuminates
Paperback, 400 pages
Published March 1st 1997 by Free Press (first published 1948)
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Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Một tác phẩm về triết học Trung Quốc được viết bởi một trong những nhà sử học và triết học vĩ đại nhất của Trung Quốc thế kỷ 20. Tác phẩm được viết bằng tiếng Anh và được dịch ra tiếng Việt bởi dịch giả Lê Anh Minh (người đạt giải dịch thuật của quỹ văn hóa Phan Châu Trinh năm 2010). Mình có cả hai bản Anh và Việt và hiện giờ đã đọc quyển này hai lần, một lần bằng bản Việt và một lần bằng bản gốc tiếng Anh. Theo ý kiến cá nhân thì với những tác phẩm về triết học Trung Quốc, có lẽ đọc
Aug 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fung Yu-Lan gives an essential and satisfying account of the trends in Chinese thought. 400 pages gets it done.
Feb 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: academic
Being brought up the occidental way and raised in a rather western-adapted culture, I had a great time reading through the original oriental thought, which is actually the roots of my Asian race. It is always enlightening to discover a treasure of ideas which we had taken for granted, never bothered to explore in detail.

I myself went through quite a number of philosophy classes but what got retained are the Western philosophies precisely because it is their application in the modern world --
Alex Tank
Dec 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
the book consists of short chapter summaries that describe the outlines of different schools of Chinese thought. I personally would have wished for more depth for the Confucianist chapters and less about esoteric mumbo jumbo Taoist metaphysics. I found a good deal of information I haven't come across before and I especially enjoyed learning about the School of Names and Neo-Confucianism. The author does a good job showing how the different schools have influenced each other over time and how the ...more
Zhifei Ge
Sep 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
The book is a systematic account of Chinese philosophy history. To my view, Feng Youlan's A Short History of Chinese Philosophy is only matched by Russell's A History of Western Philosophy.
If there is anything other than philosophy that I learn from the book, it is that The Needham Puzzle ("Why the Industrial Revolution Did Not Originate in China") is more philosophical than economical.
Xia Rongxin
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A very good introduction to Chinese philosophy.
I’ve read both Chinese and English versions of this book.
Oct 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book made me freeze in writing reviews that I neglected them for a year.
Right off the bat I must confess I rank this as one of the most treasured reads I have encountered, and Feng Youlan is there among the likes of Hume, Kant, Nietzsche.
And I do make a claim here to have been as objective and bias-free as possible in my reading.
Of course, one may argue that Feng never formulated his own theories, own School of Thought; but his broad understanding of Western AND Eastern Philosophies is
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting perspective into the mindset of the Chinese and how their philosophy contrasts against western philosophy. It functioned as a great companion for my examination.
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Mình thích triết nhưng từ trước đến giờ mới tiếp xúc với quan điểm triết học phương Tây là chính. Và vì thế đây là cuốn đầu tiên được hệ thống hóa về triết học Trung Quốc mình được đọc.
Mình đọc bản dịch tiếng Việt, và sách chỉ có hơn 200tr, nhưng được làm rất chi tiết và liền mạch. Người dịch Lê Anh Minh ghi chú cực kì cẩn thận, có lúc phần ghi chú còn chiếm hết toàn trang. Với người mới tiếp xúc với Triết học Trung Hoa, mình thấy các tư tưởng của từng thời được viết theo trình tự thời gian
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
My biased opinion is that Chinese philosophy is only interesting before Chin. Studying became only a tool to get a job in government since Han Dynasty. The book did a great job explaning different schools of those times. But frankly, After Han, things were so boring. Western philosophy would have been as boring if there hadn't been stimulus from science, liberalism and even religion. We in China never had those. Ming and Song Dynasties, we were still repeating Confucius - think of if Spinoza was ...more
Mary-Jean Harris
This was a superb book about Chinese philosophy. It was very readable and intriguing, not difficult to read but covering many different topics in detail. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in philosophy!
Tom Shannon
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was nice to read and learn about philosophy that I am unfamiliar with. I learned a lot about China and its thought through this introductory text. I now have a better understanding for when I read other books about Eastern thought.
Jul 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: china, theory
A fun read for serious students of Classical Chinese philosophy.
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Manab by: জয়গুরু
Shelves: nonfic
"One must speak very much before one keeps silent."
Apr 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Not the easiest read for a beginner in Chinese philosophy. I read this in Chinese and a lot of the quotes were in ancient style prose that's hard for the younger generations to understand. however, the contents of this book is beyond amazing. It gives a very comprehensive understanding of the history of Chinese philosophy and why it's focus were different from that of the western philosophy.

Throughout the reading, I've found some interesting topics that I want to read more about. Overall, a
Phoenix Rises
Sep 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
I got this book to learn more about the philosophy of Mo Tzu. I love his arguments, his strong reaction to the hierarchal system of Confucius. Mo Tzu justifies his most important concept, universal love, by bringing up the destructive nature of partiality. His utilitarianism is in stark contrast to his concept of universal love, as it is coldly logical (Mo Tzu finds emotions useless and destructive). Regardless, this is a good book for learning more about Chinese philosophy ...
Hangci Du
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Read in Chinese version.

The book is really good and Feng is just like a Feynman in Chinese Phylosophy field.

I think China also has a Middle Age, after Qin Dynasty. The best part of Chinese Phylosophy is before Qin. From then on, most are just like religion. Maybe it's just the rule of all human beings' evolution.

We can never escape the turn to be silly. Only after we are silly, can we have the chance to be more wise,
Bendick Ong
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humanities
To have a systematic and concise summary of Chinese philosophy from a traditional Chinese scholar, this is THE book to read. If you read Chinese, then suggest you go for it: 中国哲学简史. It is generally agree that this is much better than even his own two thicker volumes of 中国哲学史. Suitable for both scholar and the lay, a good scrutiny of this book will certainly build a good foundation for anyone interested in Chinese philosophy and Sinology.
Zöe Yu
Sep 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: china, american
It is a short history about Chinese Philosophy, but it is the most thorough one I've never read. What a pity it is not the official text book for Chinese students, it is more important than reading Lu Xun, since Lu Xun's arguments are all based on these philosophical ideas. If students do not have a fundamental understanding of Chinese philosophy, it is useless to read LuXun.
Han Zhicheng
Apr 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
A comprehensive book that serves for introducing both the history of Chinese philosophy and the philosophy itself. Nevertheless, there might still be a need for you to read the original copies of ancient Chinese philosophers if you want to know exactly what they a thinking about.
Loc Huynh duy
Jul 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The most comprehensive history of Chinese philosophy for readers from different cultural backgrounds. The genial presentation of numerous schools of philosophy from the Warring States period to the 20th century help us to understand the moving forces in the history of China. A must read.
Feb 12, 2012 added it
A little hard to read, very dry, but worth it. It gives a brief overview of how Chinese Philosophy evolved into what it was at the time of the writing (1940's). Aside from the dryness easy to understand without having taken other courses in Chinese history or philosophy.
May 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Wow, top notch. I feel like I learned a LOT. The only complaint I could possibly have is that it was written so long ago. It couldn't exactly talk about the last 60 years of developments in Chinese philosophy. Not all that much about Communist thought.
Usman Chohan
Jun 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic primer to confucian, taoist and buddhist thought in China. Needs to be read several times because of the density and richness of material.
Oct 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Chinese Philosophy has a lot more in common with Western values than I thought, or maybe it was just being sold that way by the author.
Aug 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wishlist
Excellent book for gaining basic knowledge about chinese philosophy. Leaves place for further explorations of the topic, but can be enough for those who want only to cover basic issues of the theme.
Apr 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Not an easy read, I had to put it down many times to think of what was written. Still I feel a bit more clear about the different schools in Chinese philosophy.
Jonathan Jones
rated it liked it
Dec 28, 2016
Leon Sandler
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Mar 24, 2010
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Mar 06, 2014
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