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Ta Hsüeh and Chung Yung: The Highest Order of Cultivation and On the Practice of the Mean

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3.73  ·  Rating details ·  44 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Set alongside The Analects and Mencius, these two texts make up the 'Four Books' of Chinese Confucian tradition. Their depiction of the 'Way of Great Learning' focuses on the moral tenets of Confucian thinking, establishing a universal framework that links individuals with the cosmos. By drawing together key ethical and philophical, and metaphysical issues, the essays deal ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published December 4th 2003 by Penguin Classics (first published -450)
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3.73  · 
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Jon(athan) Nakapalau
Important works of classical Chinese philosophy translated for English speaking readers.
7jane
Dec 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: religion-other
3.5, but only because of the first book.

This book is the last two of the '4 greats' in Confucian literature (I have read the Analects, but decided to skip Mencius). The date and the authors of the books are uncertain, only fitting in a loose frame, time-wise, of 300-100 BC. The books themselves are quite slim (especially Ta Hsueh), so half of the books is just the two introductions, chronology (of dynasties), introduction to each (with explanations of title-choosing) with notes coming after (tra
...more
Bob Nichols
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
The main texts of Confucian philosophy are said to be the Analects, Mencius, and the two short texts in this book, The Highest Order of Cultivation (or, The Great Learning), and On the Practice of the Mean (or, Doctrine of the Mean). According to the preface, the latter two books are viewed generally as "an inseparable pair." The former's focus is on the individual's moral cultivation. The latter's focus is on bringing about the self's alignment ("harmonious balance") with the way of the univers ...more
Hadrian
Jun 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Two volumes of Confucian philosophy, focusing on metaphysics, self-cultivation, and maintaining balance, similar but not identical to the Aristotlean Golden Mean. I cannot understand why the translator uses Wade-Giles, but at least the end notes and essays are excellent.
Jian Lin
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
大學:本末倒置
Chant Cowen
Dec 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Ta Hsüeh and Chung Yung are no Mengzi (Mencius) or Kongzi (Confucius), even though these two "books" are commonly attributed to Kongzi. It however, is two of the four books considered part of the Confucian canon, so it has that going on for it.

The main idea of these books are just expounding more though on ideas found in the Analects and Mengzi.

Lastly, the book is written in Wade-Giles, which I completely hate, as I studied Chinese using pinyin. The only reason that this translation used that ro
...more
Nicholas Whyte
Oct 21, 2007 rated it it was ok
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/1387316.html

This is the Penguin edition of two of the Four Books of Confucian learning, their titles respectively translated as The Highest Order of Cultivation and On the Practice of the Mean. It is a bit of a shame that Penguin chose to stick to the old Wade-Giles transliteration; in the pin-yin more often used today the titles are Daxue and Zhongyong. (Or to be pedantic, 大學 and 中庸.) Although the two books are mercifully short, I found their conservative, paternal
...more
Glenn Berger
The one book I would take to a desert island. Two of the "Four Books" that every Chinese scholar revered for 2000 years. These concise texts are packed with infinite wisdom.
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