Author Archives: Scott Barnwell

New Book: Late Classical Chinese Thought by Chris Fraser

From Google Play:
“Chris Fraser presents a rich and broad-ranging study of the culminating period of classical Chinese philosophy, the third century BC. He offers novel and informative perspectives on Confucianism, Daoism, Mohism, Legalism, and other movements in early Chinese thought while also delving into neglected texts such as the Guanzi, Lu’s Annals, and the Zhuangzi ‘outer’ chapters, restoring them to their prominent place in the history of philosophy. Fraser organizes the history of Chinese thought topically, devoting separate chapters to metaphysics and metaethics, political philosophy, ethics, moral psychology, epistemology, and philosophy of language and logic. Focused specifically on the last century of the Warring States era, arguably the most vibrant, diverse period of philosophical discourse in Chinese history, the discussion covers the shared concerns, rival doctrines, and competing criticisms presented in third-century BC sources. Fraser explicates the distinctive issues, conceptual frameworks, and background assumptions of classical Chinese thought. He aims to introduce the philosophical discourse of early China to a broad audience, including readers with no prior familiarity with the material. At the same time, the thematic treatment and incisive interpretations of individual texts will be of interest to students and specialists in the field.”

Oxford University Press

New Book: Zhuangzi: A New Translation of the Sayings of Master Zhuang as Interpreted by Guo Xiang

Richard John Lynn and Columbia University Press have released Zhuangzi: A New Translation of the Sayings of Master Zhuang as Interpreted by Guo Xiang.

“The Zhuangzi (Sayings of Master Zhuang) is one of the foundational texts of the Chinese philosophical tradition and the cornerstone of Daoist thought. The earliest and most influential commentary on the Zhuangzi is that of Guo Xiang (265–312), who also edited the text into the thirty-three-chapter version known ever since. Guo’s commentary enriches readings of the Zhuangzi, offering keen insights into the meaning and significance of its pithy but often ambiguous aphorisms, narratives, and parables. Richard John Lynn’s new translation of the Zhuangzi is the first to follow Guo’s commentary in its interpretive choices. Unlike any previous translation into any language, its guiding principle is how Guo read the text; Lynn renders the Zhuangzi in terms of Guo’s understanding. This approach allows for the full integration of the text of the Zhuangzi with Guo’s commentary. The book also features a translation of Guo’s complete interlinear commentary and is annotated throughout. A critical introduction includes a detailed account of Guo’s life and times as well as analysis of his essential contributions to the arcane learning (xuanxue) of the fourth century and the development of Chinese philosophy. Lynn sheds new light on how the Daoist classic, which has often been seen as a timeless book of wisdom, is situated in its historical context, while also considering it as a guide to personal cultivation and self-realization.”

New Book: Dao Companion to the Philosophy of the Zhuangzi

Springer has published the Dao Companion to the Philosophy of the Zhuangzi, edited by Kim-chong Chong. “It covers textual, linguistic, hermeneutical, ethical, social/political and philosophical issues, with the latter including epistemological, metaphysical, phenomenological and cross-cultural (Chinese and Western) aspects.”

A reviewer on Amazon warned “Only 34 of the 46 chapters are in the Kindle version.” Those interested might want to look into/verify this.