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  • Mencius (A Bilingual Edition) 孟子

Mencius (A Bilingual Edition) 孟子

Translated by D.C. Lau

Bilingual , 2003/08 Bilingual Editions of the Chinese Classics The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press

Tags: Literature, Philosophy

216 x 152 mm , 480pp ISBN / ISSN : 978-962-201-851-8

  • US$25.00

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Mencius is without doubt second only to Confucius in importance in the Confucian tradition. The Analects of Confucius which forms a unique and reliable source for our knowledge of the thought of Confucius consists of a collection of sayings and conversations of the sage, mostly brief and often with little or no context. Hence many ideas are not elaborated upon, leaving plenty of room for differences in interpretation. The Mencius, too, consists of sayings of Mencius and conversations he had with his contemporaries, but these tend to be of greater length and there is often some kind of a context. The ideas are therefore more articulate. Thus the Mencius, when read side by side the Analects, throws a great deal of light on the latter work. In addition, Mencius developed some of the ideas of Confucius and at the same time discussed problems not touched upon by Confucius. He drew out the implications of Confucius' moral principles and reinterpreted them for the harsh conditions of the 4th century B.C., when they were threatened by the aggressive and amoral doctrines of Legalism. Little is known of the life of Mencius who lived in the 4th century B.C. The Mencius covers the last years of Mencius' life and the views expressed in the work are thus his mature views and represent the fruits of a lifetime spent in reflection and teaching. As the fullest of the four great Confucian texts, the Mencius was required reading for Chinese students over two thousand years, and still remains an important part of orthodox thought in China.

Professor D. C. Lau, a world-known sinologue, studied Chinese at The University of Hong Kong and philosophy at the University of Glasgow. In 1950 he began teaching classical Chinese and ancient Chinese philosophy at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He was appointed in 1965 to the then newly-created Readership in Chinese Philosophy and in 1970 became Professor of Chinese in the University of London. His English translation of the Tao Te Ching, the Mencius, and The Analects of Confucius was published between 1963 and 1979. In 1978, he returned to Hong Kong to take up the Chair of Chinese Language and Literature in The Chinese University of Hong Kong. On his retirement in 1989, he became Professor Emeritus and led a team of researchers on a computerized database of the entire body of extant traditional Chinese texts of the pre-Qin, the Han, the Wei-Jin and the Northern and Southern Dynasties. The completed work is now being published in book form as well as in CDs.

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