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Mencius (Penguin Classics) de Mencius
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Mencius (Penguin Classics) (edició 2004)

de Mencius, D.C. Lau (Introducció)

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Known throughout East Asia as Mengzi, or "Master Meng," Mencius (391-308 B.C.E.) was a Chinese philosopher of the late Zhou dynasty, an instrumental figure in the spread of the Confucian tradition, and a brilliant illuminator of its ideas. Mencius was active during the Warring States Period (403-221 B.C.E.), in which competing powers sought to control the declining Zhou empire. Like Confucius, Mencius journeyed to one feudal court after another, searching for a proper lord who could put his teachings into practice. Only a leader who possessed the moral qualities of a true king could unify China, Mencius believed, and in his defense of Zhou rule and Confucian philosophy, he developed an innovative and highly nuanced approach to understanding politics, self-cultivation, and human nature, profoundly influencing the course of Confucian thought and East Asian culture. Mencius is a record of the philosopher's conversations with warring lords, disciples, and adversaries of the Way, as well as a collection of pronouncements on government, human nature, and a variety of other philosophical and political subjects. Mencius is largely concerned with the motivations of human actors and their capacity for mutual respect. He builds on the Confucian idea of ren, or humaneness, and places it alongside the complementary principle of yi, or rightness, advancing a complex notion of what is right for certain individuals as they perform distinct roles in specific situations. Consequently, Mencius's impact was felt not only in the thought of the intellectual and social elite but also in the value and belief systems of all Chinese people.… (més)
Membre:teletai
Títol:Mencius (Penguin Classics)
Autors:Mencius
Altres autors:D.C. Lau (Introducció)
Informació:Penguin Classics (2004), Edition: Rev. Ed, Paperback, 304 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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Mencius de Mencius

Afegit fa poc perpatrickgaffey, oremtong, biblioteca privada, Magmoiselle, imamgi, r.n, HenrySt123, jemmatcf
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A worthwhile read for those interested in Chinese philosophy, but read Confucius first, preferably in more than one translation. Mencius is easy enough to read in Lau's translation, despite a few ambiguities here and there, and he pretty much reinforces, sometimes with explanation, Confucius's teachings. Lau's introduction, comparing Mencius to other schools of thought, is good. His appendices, however, are too academic to be of much interest to the average reader. Overall, I certainly enjoyed Confucius and Lao Tzu more than Mencius, perhaps because there wasn't a lot new here, although some of the stories are good and there is even the occasional humor. ( )
1 vota datrappert | Jul 9, 2019 |
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 does not use short, aphoristic sayings which are often open to interpretation but instead expounds at length in long prose arguments, which as D. C. Lau explains are the pinnacle of Classical Chinese rhetoric.

The translation by noted scholar D. C. Lau is a noted improvement over previous ones and alongside the detailed introduction that contextualises Mencius in Chinese philosophical thought and contrasts him against Xunzi.

Though perhaps suffering from advances in scholarship since its publication, Lau's translation is still an excellent starting point for the scholar or interested reader, and serves as a starting point for further study in Chinese philosophy. ( )
  xuebi | May 30, 2014 |
Veeeery short.

He just echoes Confucius's sparse sayings. ( )
  EricKibler | Apr 6, 2013 |
Meng Ke, whom we know in the West by his Latinized name, Mencius, was a wandering sage who taught widely and advised the rulers of the state of Qi during the Warring States Period (403-221 BC). Mencius himself lived from about 370-290 BC, having been born just a few miles from the only other philosopher know in the West by a latinized name, Confucius, who lived about a century before Mencius. Towards the end of his life Mencius despaired at the possibility of effecting change in government and so retired from public life.

The basis of Mencius’s philosophy is the assertion that all humans are basically good. It is society’s influence that causes good people to do bad things. This immediately raises a question: What is society composed of if not people? The answer is nowhere specific, but the cumulative impression is that the reason society can be a bad influence on individuals is habit. The analogy in Western logic might be the concept of “the slippery slope.” One person slips from his moral obligation toward the good and soon everyone around him is, too. Or, to put this idea another way: One dog barks and they all join in.

It’s hard work to be a good person: “Slight is the difference between man and the brutes,” Mencius says. “The common man loses this distinguishing feature, while the gentleman retains it.” To the modern reader the category of “common man” and “gentleman” may be somewhat offensive, but the classist distinction is historically accurate. More importantly, though, the difference might be better described as that between a “bad” man (“the brute”) and a “good” man (“the gentleman”).The book ascribed to Mencius, and which bears his name as its title, makes for wonderful reading as it is composed of philosophical vignettes, each related as a tiny story, usually about an encounter and conversation with a king or other nobleman. Here’s a sample:

After seeing King Xiang of Liang, Mencius said to someone, “When I saw him from a distance he did not look like a ruler, and when I got closer, I saw nothing to command respect. But he asked ‘How can the realm be settled?’ I answered, ‘It can be settled through unity.’ ‘Who can unify it?’ he asked. I answered, ‘Someone not fond of killing people.’ ‘Who could give it to him?’ I answered ‘Everyone in the world will give it to him. Your .Majesty knows what rice plants are? If there is a drought in the seventh and eighth months, the plants wither, but if moisture collects in the sky and forms clouds and rain falls in torrents, plants suddenly revive. This is the way it is; no one can stop the process. In the world today there are no rulers disinclined toward killing. If there were a ruler who did not like to kill people, everyone in the world would crane their necks to catch sight of him. This is really true. The people would flow toward him the way water flows down. No one would be able to repress them.’”

Mencius employs both the parable and the Socratic method (the question-and-answer exploration of an ethical or political problem) to great effect. His bite-sized morsels are easy to read but provide much nourishment for thought. There are many parallels to Western philosophy to be found in Mencius (such as the idea that the people may overthrow a corrupt government, something Americans should more frequently remember is enshrined in their Constitution) as well as striking parallels. Chinese philosophy in general, for instance, was never particularly burdened with the great logical indignity of dualism (the idea that the mind or soul and the body are two separate entities).

Lau’s fluid translation (first published by Penguin in 1970 and presented here in a revised version edited in collaboration with scholars at the Chinese University) is complimented by an appropriately windy and academic introduction in which he thoroughly situates Mencius within the context of Chinese philosophy and draws the big picture that is the Confucian-Mencian system.

[Originally published in Curled Up with a Good Book] ( )
  funkendub | Oct 1, 2010 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Menciusautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Bloom, IreneTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Hinton, DavidTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Lau, D. C.Traductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Legge, JamesTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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Known throughout East Asia as Mengzi, or "Master Meng," Mencius (391-308 B.C.E.) was a Chinese philosopher of the late Zhou dynasty, an instrumental figure in the spread of the Confucian tradition, and a brilliant illuminator of its ideas. Mencius was active during the Warring States Period (403-221 B.C.E.), in which competing powers sought to control the declining Zhou empire. Like Confucius, Mencius journeyed to one feudal court after another, searching for a proper lord who could put his teachings into practice. Only a leader who possessed the moral qualities of a true king could unify China, Mencius believed, and in his defense of Zhou rule and Confucian philosophy, he developed an innovative and highly nuanced approach to understanding politics, self-cultivation, and human nature, profoundly influencing the course of Confucian thought and East Asian culture. Mencius is a record of the philosopher's conversations with warring lords, disciples, and adversaries of the Way, as well as a collection of pronouncements on government, human nature, and a variety of other philosophical and political subjects. Mencius is largely concerned with the motivations of human actors and their capacity for mutual respect. He builds on the Confucian idea of ren, or humaneness, and places it alongside the complementary principle of yi, or rightness, advancing a complex notion of what is right for certain individuals as they perform distinct roles in specific situations. Consequently, Mencius's impact was felt not only in the thought of the intellectual and social elite but also in the value and belief systems of all Chinese people.

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