The Many Lives of Yang Zhu

A Historical Overview

eISBN-13: 9781438490410

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This volume presents the most important portrayals of an ancient Chinese master, Yang Zhu, throughout Chinese history, from the fourth century BCE till today. Due to the striking scarcity of reliable textual testimony regarding his life and thought, all these portrayals are to a large extent inspired by their own historical contexts: Mencius's criticism in the late Warring States, the creation of a Confucian orthodoxy during the imperial era, and the establishment of a Chinese philosophy in the Republic. This volume adopts a historical approach, tracing the most important portrayals of Yang Zhu in their own contexts and mutual connections. It yields new insights not only into the figure of Yang Zhu, but also into the stages of China's intellectual history. Scarcity of reliable textual support is, to varying degrees, a common predicament in the study of ancient Chinese masters, but the case of Yang Zhu is particularly illuminating. The remarkable dearth of textual material represents the almost "nothing" out of which early Chinese philosophers such as Yang Zhu have been fruitfully "created."

ISBNs 9781438490410, 9781438490403, 1438490410
Language English