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  • The Mozi

The Mozi

A Complete Translation

Translated by Ian Johnston


English , 2009/01 The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press

Tags: Literature, Philosophy

229 x 152 mm , 1032pp ISBN : 978-962-996-270-8

  • US$85.00


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The Mozi is one of the small number of key texts surviving from the first flowering of Chinese philosophy during the Warring States period (403–221 BC). In structure, the Mozi comprises five distinct parts.

Part I, the Epitomes, contains seven short essays on elements of Mohist doctrine. Part II, the "Core Doctrines," contains twenty-four chapters: twenty-three from the presumed thirty original chapters, arranged as ten triads, which set out the ten central doctrines of Mo Zi's ethical, social and political philosophy, and one of the two presumed chapters articulating Mo Zi's opposition to Confucianism. Part III, on "dialectics," contains six chapters on logic, language, disputation, ethics, science and other matters, attributed to the Later Mohists and written, in part at least, in defence of the original Mohist doctrines. Part IV, the Dialogues, contains five chapters made up of lively conversations, edifying anecdotes and gnomic utterances, a form more characteristic of the philosophical writing of the time. Part V, on the defence of a city, contains eleven chapters detailing the principles and practices of defensive warfare, a subject on which Master Mo was acknowledged as the leading authority of the time. The Mozi is, then, a rich and varied work, and yet it has been sadly neglected, both in China and the West. This is the first English translation of the complete work and the first bilingual version in any European language.

Ian Johnston was Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Sydney before he retired in 1999. During his medical career he pursued concurrently studies in languages and philosophy, and has devoted himself to the studies on a full-time basis since retirement. He started learning Chinese in 1970, and obtained his MLitt in Philosophy from University of New England in 1995 (dissertation topic: the Pre-Qin School of Names). He is also proficient in Greek and Latin.

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