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Competing Perspectives on “The Way” Stephen C. Angle, Wesleyan University.

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Presentation on theme: "Competing Perspectives on “The Way” Stephen C. Angle, Wesleyan University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Competing Perspectives on “The Way” Stephen C. Angle, Wesleyan University

2 Overview Part One Chronology of Chinese Philosophy Archeology, Translation, and Interpretation One Hundred Schools? The Warring States Era Part Two: Confucius and the Analects Part Three: Daoism and the Dao De Jing

3 Periods of Chinese Philosophy Pre-Classical Classical Imperial (Han  Tang) Scholastic / Daoist Religions / Rise of Buddhism Later Imperial (Song  Qing) Neo-Confucian Revival Post-Imperial Republic / PRC / Today

4 Archeology, Translation, and Interpretation Lattimore and/vs. Fitzgerald Philosophy as one perspective among others Archeology and the materiality of sources Translation, Romanization / Transliteration, and Interpretation Jen, Ren, Rvn, and 仁

5 One Hundred Schools? What is a “school”? Dialogue “Confucianism” “Daoism” Statecraft, Legalism, and Fajia

6 Contextualizing the Warring States Zhou Dynasty (11 th c. BCE) Spring & Autumn Era (771 BCE) Warring States (c. 479 BCE) Iron Population Taxes Bureaucracy Mass armies Qin Victory (221 BCE)

7 Confucius and the Analects Confucius ( BCE) Core ideas in Book Four (esp. 4:3, 4:5, 4:10, 4:16) Ren/Rvn (authoritative…, benevolence, humaneness) Yi (appropriate, right, righteousness) Junzi (Exemplary Person, Gentleman) Xiaoren (Little or Petty Person), and Li (Profit, Advantage)

8 Analects 4:3 A&R: The Master said, “The authoritative person alone has the wherewithal to properly discriminate the good person from the bad.” B&B: The Master said, It is only the rvn who can like others; who can hate others.

9 Confucius and Ritual Rituals large and small Ritual ( Li ) and Ren ? See Analects 3:3 and 3:4 Importance of Ritual Contrast Analects 3:17 and 3:18 Wedding example

10 Confucianism vs. Statecraft Analects 2:3 (B&B): The Master said, Lead them with government and regulate them by punishments, and the people will evade them with no sense of shame. Lead them with virtue and regulate them by ritual, and they will acquire a sense of shame and moreover, they will be orderly.

11 Introduction to Daoism (or Taoism) Dao De Jing (4 th c. BCE) Zhuangzi (3 rd c. BCE) Legends… The term “ dao ” Text(s) of the Dao De Jing Received Mawangdui silk manuscripts Guodian bamboo

12 One Starting Point Dao De Jing 41 A way to act: “When the highest type of men hear the Way, with diligence they’re able to practice it;…” A negative way: “The Way that goes forward appears to retreat;…” A nameless way: “The Way is great but it has no name….”

13 Rulership and Naturalness Dao De Jing “With the highest kind of rulers, those below them simply know they exist. / With those one step down—they love and praise them….” (17) “When the Great Way is rejected, it is then that we have the virtues of humanity ( ren ) and righteousness ( yi )….” (18) “Manifest plainness and embrace the genuine; / Lessen self-interest and make few your desires; / Eliminate learning and have no undue concern….” (19)

14 Belly Rather Than Eyes Dao De Jing 12 “The five colors cause one’s eyes to go blind. / Racing horses and hunting cause one’s mind to go mad….” “Therefore, in the government of the sage, / He’s for the belly and not for the eyes….”

15 Summing It All Up Dao De Jing 1 and 25 “The Way that cannot be spoken of is not the constant Way; / the name that can be named is not the constant name….” (1) “…I do not know its name; / I style it ‘the Way.’ / Were I forced to give it a name, I would call it ‘the Great.’” (25) “Man models himself on the earth; / The earth models itself on Heaven; / Heaven models itself on the Way; / And the Way models itself on that which is so on its own ( ziran ).” (25)


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