Warp, Weft, and Way

Chinese and Comparative Philosophy 中國哲學與比較哲學

New Book: Pines, trans., Book of Lord Shang

Columbia University Press has published The Book of Lord Shang: Apologetics of State Power in Early China, edited and translated by Yuri Pines, which looks terrific. Information here. I understand that anyone who uses the coupon code “SHABOO” to purchase the book from the Columbia site will receive a 30% discount.

February 12, 2017 Posted by | Books of Interest, China, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Legalism, Translation | no comments

Song Translates Zhu Xi, “Exhortation for Adapting Breath”

Bin SONG has published a translation and commentary on Zhu Xi’s poem, “Exhortation for Adapting Breath 調息箴,” at Huffington Post. Take a look!

January 30, 2017 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Neo-Confucianism, Self-Cultivation, Translation, Zhu Xi | no comments

Li Zhi Translation Published

9780231166133Rivi Handler-Spitz, Pauline Lee, and Haun Saussy have translated and edited a book of translations by the great late-Ming dynasty iconoclast Li Zhi, and the book has now been published by Columbia University Press. It is beautifully produced and a great contribution to anyone seeking to teach about the culture and philosophy of Li’s crucial era. Congratulations! (Pauline Lee’s own book on Li Zhi was previously announced here on the blog.)

May 26, 2016 Posted by | Books of Interest, China, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Neo-Confucianism, Translation | no comments

New Book: Harris, The Shenzi Fragments

Details are now available on the web about Eirik Lang Harris’s soon-to-be-published The Shenzi Fragments: A Philosophical Analysis and Translation (Columbia University Press). Congratulations, Eirik!

April 9, 2016 Posted by | Books of Interest, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Legalism, Translation | no comments

Hutton’s Xunzi now out in paperback

Good news:  Princeton University Press is pleased to present the publication of the paperback edition of Xunzi: The Complete Text by Xunzi, translated and with an introduction by Eric L. Hutton, for course use.

March 31, 2016 Posted by | Books of Interest, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Confucianism, Translation, Xunzi | no comments

Translation of Gongyang Commentary

Palgrave Macmillan has published Harry Miller’s complete translation of The Gongyang Commentary on the Spring and Autumn Annals. It is available as hardcover or eBook. The publisher’s description follows; check out the website for preview access to some of the book.

Continue reading “Translation of Gongyang Commentary”

December 23, 2015 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Chinese Texts, Translation | no comments

Two On-Line Analects Resources

Two quite different approaches to the Analects:

November 21, 2015 Posted by | Analects, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Confucianism, Translation | one comment

Two Books on Korean Confucianism

Over the past year, Edward Chung has published two significant books on Korean Confucianism, one a translation and one an overview. Please read on for details.

Continue reading “Two Books on Korean Confucianism”

November 21, 2015 Posted by | Books of Interest, Comparative philosophy, Confucianism, Contemporary Confucianism, Korea, Korean Philosophy, Neo-Confucianism, Translation | no comments

New Book: Translation of Chunqiu Fanlu

A major new book is about to be released: the 704-page Luxuriant Gems of the Spring and Autumn (春秋繁露), attributed to Dong Zhongshu; edited and translated by Sarah A. Queen and John S. Major (Columbia University Press). This is a tremendous accomplishment, and should help to further open up post-classical philosophy to broader attention and analysis.

November 21, 2015 Posted by | Books of Interest, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Chinese Texts, Han Dynasty, Translation | no comments

Translation of Xiong Shili

I am very pleased to announce the publication of John Makeham’s outstanding translation of Xiong Shili’s huge influential New Treatise on the Uniqueness of Consciousness 新唯識論. This is the first East Asia-related volume in Yale University Press’s World Thought in Translation series. Congratulations, John!

October 15, 2015 Posted by | Books of Interest, Buddhism, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Chinese Texts, Contemporary Confucianism, Translation | no comments

Noticed any typos in Hutton’s Xunzi?

Eric Hutton has informed me that Princeton University Press intends to release a paperback edition of his translation of the Xunzi, and there is an opportunity for him to make minor changes to the translation. Readers of this blog who have noticed typos in the current edition or who have other small corrections to suggest are invited to email them directly to Eric at: eric.hutton@utah.edu.

August 26, 2015 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Confucianism, Translation, Xunzi | no comments

Sung in NDPR on Hutton’s Xunzi

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

2015.03.16 View this Review Online   View Other NDPR Reviews

Xunzi, XunziThe Complete Text, Eric L. Hutton (tr.), Princeton University Press, 2014, xxxi+ 397pp., $39.95 (hbk), ISBN 9780691161044.

Reviewed by Winnie Sung, Nanyang Technological University

Continue reading “Sung in NDPR on Hutton’s Xunzi”

March 11, 2015 Posted by | Book Review, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Confucianism, Translation, Xunzi | no comments

New Analects Translation

Penguin has recently brought out a new translation of, and commentary on, the Analects, by Annping Chin. The Amazon page is here, at which one can get a good sense of the format and goals of this new translation. Considerable comentary is appended after each passage, with a combination of Chin’s own thoughts and comments from mostly post-Song (primarily Qing to the present) scholars. Chinese text is provided in an appendix. Anyone have any thoughts on this new translation?

October 30, 2014 Posted by | Analects, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Confucius, Translation | 18 comments

Mair on Xin

Victor Mair has published an essay about the meaning of <i>xin</i> 心, about which we had some considerable discussion here a little while ago.

September 30, 2014 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Translation | one comment

Hutton’s Xunzi Translaton Published


Xunzi: The Complete Text

Princeton University Press would like to announce the publication of Eric Hutton’s new translation of Xunzi.

“This is the first complete, one-volume English translation of the ancient Chinese text Xunzi, one of the most extensive, sophisticated, and elegant works in the tradition of Confucian thought. Through essays, poetry, dialogues, and anecdotes, the Xunzi articulates a Confucian perspective on ethics, politics, warfare, language, psychology, human nature, ritual, and music, among other topics. Aimed at general readers and students of Chinese thought, Eric Hutton’s translation makes the full text of this important work more accessible in English than ever before.

Continue reading “Hutton’s Xunzi Translaton Published”

September 21, 2014 Posted by | Books of Interest, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Confucianism, Translation, Xunzi | 4 comments

New Book: Readings in Later Chinese Philosophy

RLCP_cover  I’m pleased to announce the publication of our reader in post-classical Chinese philosophy.

I’ll put the details below the fold, but it might help to have a quick summary of some the book’s most noteworthy (or at least distinctive) advantages.

  • Better selections than Chan’s Sourcebook, including several overlooked gems and works on and by women
  • Consistent translations of key terms and oft-quoted passages
  • Begone Wade-Giles!


Continue reading “New Book: Readings in Later Chinese Philosophy”

September 13, 2014 Posted by | Books of Interest, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Pedagogy, Resource, Translation | 5 comments

Norton Critical Edition of Analects

The Norton Critical Edition of the Analects has just been published. Edited by Michael Nylan, it joins together  Nylan’s Introduction, Simon Leys’s translation of the text, and a series of interpretive essays:

  • Nicolas Zufferey • On the Ru and Confucius
  • Robert Eno • In Search of the Origins of Confucian Traditions in Lu
  • Mark Csikszentmihalyi and Tae Hyun Kim • The Formation of the Analects
  • Eric L. Hutton • Mencius, Xunzi, and the Legacy of Confucius
  • Luke Habberstad • The Sage and His Associates: Kongzi and Disciples across Early Texts
  • Julia K. Murray • Visualizing Confucius and His Disciples from the Analects
  • Thomas Wilson • Reading the Analects in the Sage’s Courtyard: A Modern Diner’s Guide to an Ancient Feast
  • Sébastien Billioud and Vincent Goossaert • Confucius and his Texts: A Century of Crisis and Reinventions
  • Yuming He • Talking Back to the Master: Play and Subversion in Entertainment Uses of theAnalects
  • Henry Rosemont Jr. • On “New Confucianism”
  • Sam Ho • Confucius on Film: Toward a Confucian Aesthetic

The choice of Leys’s translation — which consciously renders the text in modern, accessible language — may make sense in light of the Nylan’s objective in assembling this range of interpretive essays, which collectively  “suggest that the Confucius we thought we knew is not the Kongzi of record and that this Kongzi is a protean figure given to rapid change and continual reevaluation.”

July 8, 2014 Posted by | Books of Interest, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Confucianism, Translation | no comments

Why can’t we all agree on how to translate “xin”?

Translation of Chinese philosophical terminology is often one of the more vexed problems that we face. This is both because the interpretation and understanding of some of these terms is complicated (and controversial), and because it is rarely easy to choose a single word, or a short phrase, that readily expresses the meaning of a given term. Many potential translations carry inapt baggage with them; others can be misleading in other ways. Often we are urged to give up and leave a term romanized. I would agree that, depending on one’s specific goals, this can sometimes be the best choice, but of course to resort to it too often is to abandon the project of interpretation and translation.

Continue reading “Why can’t we all agree on how to translate “xin”?”

March 29, 2014 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Comparative philosophy, Translation | 40 comments

Major Translation Opportunity: Jin and Liu, Studies in the History of Ideas: The Formation of Important Modern Chinese Political Terms

Please read on for on opportunity to earn USD $25,000 as part of a book translation project.

Continue reading “Major Translation Opportunity: Jin and Liu, Studies in the History of Ideas: The Formation of Important Modern Chinese Political Terms”

March 4, 2014 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Comparative Political Theory, Opportunities, Translation | 3 comments

CFP: Translating the Ancient Classics in China and the West: 1950 and Beyond

Translating the Ancient Classics in China and the West: 1950 and Beyond
University of South Carolina, 16th Annual Comparative Literature Conference
February 26-March 2, 2014

Send one page abstracts of 20 minute papers to 2014cplt@gmail.com by September 15, 2013.  We also encourage panel submissions of up to four papers.  Panel submissions should include abstracts of the individual papers and should not be more than four pages.

Continue reading “CFP: Translating the Ancient Classics in China and the West: 1950 and Beyond”

May 3, 2013 Posted by | Call for Papers (CFP), Comparative philosophy, Translation | no comments

New Book: Cook, Bamboo Texts of Guodian

164 BambooVol1

Scott Cook’s extensive, two-volume study and complete translation of the Guodian excavated texts has been published and is available through University of Hawaii Press. For more information, check out these two sites (vol. 1; vol. 2), which are largely identical but have links for purchasing the two volumes at the bottom. Congratulations, Scott!

Here follows the blurb from the website:

The cache of bamboo texts recently unearthed (in 1993) from the village of Guodian, Hubei Province, is without doubt a rare and unique find in the history of Chinese philosophy and literature. As the only archaeologically excavated corpus of philosophical manuscripts to emerge from a Warring States–period tomb, the Guodian texts provide us with a wealth of reliable information for gaining new insights into the textual and intellectual history of pre-imperial China. In this respect, one may reasonably claim that they are the most exciting thing to happen to the study of early China since the third century ad, the last time a pre-imperial textual cache of similar import was unearthed. More than a few scholars have even gone so far as to suggest that their discovery necessitates that the entire history of early Chinese intellectual history will have to be rewritten. The importance of these texts is manifold. First, given the prominence of Confucian works in the corpus, they serve to fill out much of the intellectual historical picture for the doctrines of roughly three generations of Confucian disciples who fell between the times of Confucius 孔子 (551–479 BC) and Mencius孟子 (ca. 390–305 BC). Next, the discovery of three different texts that each parallel portions of the Daodejing 道德經 (aka. Laozi 老子), along with a possibly related cosmogonic work, the “Taiyi sheng shui”太一生水, is helping us better understand the formation and early transmission of the Laozi and the nature of its relationship to early Confucian thought and even popular beliefs. Moreover, the dating of the tomb serves to dispel serious doubts about the early temporal provenance of both the Laozi and many of the chapters from the Li ji 禮記 (Book of Ritual), as well as giving us a number of clues to help us reconstruct the history of the early Chinese canonical “classics” that are cited in some of the texts. And written as they are in the local Chu 楚 script, the manuscripts hold great significance for the study of early Chinese paleography and phonology, giving us tangible examples of “ancient script” forms hitherto seen mainly in early character dictionaries and a limited array of technical manuscripts previously excavated from the region.

April 20, 2013 Posted by | Books of Interest, Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Excavated Texts, Translation | 4 comments

Huainanzi – shorter edition

Huainanzi update: A couple of years ago — has it really been that long? — WW&W posted an announcement and hosted some discussion that included the authors of the unabridged Huainanzi translation published by Columbia University Press. FYI, I just received in the mail an abridged version of the translation (272 pages instead of 1016), which is now available: The Essential Huainanzi.

Unrelated book note: The WAC (“Writing-across-the-Curriculum”) Clearinghouse at Colorado State University is offering, free of charge, electronic access to Chinese Rhetoric and Writing: An Introduction for Language Teachers by Kirkpatrick and Xu.


April 11, 2012 Posted by | Books of Interest, Daoism, Huainanzi, Rhetoric, Taoism, Translation | no comments

Popular Daoism

Mark Saltveit, professional comedian and author, guest-posted last year on comedy and Daoism. Subsequently, he published his thoughts on that topic with MeFiMag (available for download). Mark is back with some questions that he has about popular Daoism, to get some discussion and opinion from members of our forum. He plans to publish an article about this topic as well (note Mark’s comments below about seeking permission to quote or cite from those who comment in this forum). Please address all comments or questions directly to Mark.


Hello.  I’m working on a feature article (for an intelligent general audience) about criticism of popular Daoist authors (particularly Ursula K. Le Guin and Benjamin Hoff) by certain academics of Eastern religion who are centered around the University of San Diego and the Center for Daoist Studies (http://www.daoistcenter.org/homepage.html).

Some of this criticism seems rather polemical, rooted in an anti-Orientalist critique of the concept of Philosophical Daoism as a Western (and arguably Protestant) gloss. (I’m using the term “Culturalists” as shorthand for this group, and positing Michael Saso as its founder.)  Russell Kirkland calls Le Guin a “fraud” and Louis Komjathy won’t even write “Philosophical Daoism” without applying strikethrough to the words to show his disapproval. Kirkland goes so far as to argue that the Daodejing itself distorts Daoism, “sanitized” by its 3rd Century BCE redactor in a “marketing ploy” designed to strip it of “cultural baggage” and make it more presentable to Northern Chinese courts.  Continue reading “Popular Daoism”

February 16, 2012 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Daoism, Taoism, Translation | 55 comments

Kohn's Zhuangzi

On a tip from friend of the blog and guest blogger, Mark Saltveit, here’s a link to a translation of the Zhuangzi by Livia Kohn. You can preview part of it by clicking on the “Google Preview.” Anyone know anything about this? It seems to have been translated for a non-academic press — not that there’s anything wrong with that. Any thoughts about Kohn’s translation choices, either based on the Google preview or from knowledge of the translation otherwise acquired?

August 2, 2011 Posted by | Daoism, Taoism, Translation, Zhuangzi | 2 comments

Thesaurus Linguae Sericae

Just added a link to this online tool in the ‘References & Tools’ link list. The description of the site reads: “An Historical and Comparative Encyclopaedia of Chinese Conceptual Schemes.” The General Editor of the site is: Christoph Harbsmeier 何莫邪; Associate Editor is: Jiang Shaoyu 蔣紹愚.

Here is the front matter you’ll encounter when you go to the site:

Continue reading “Thesaurus Linguae Sericae”

June 9, 2011 Posted by | Sinology, Translation | 4 comments

Huainanzi Translation and Some Questions about Translation

I’m informed by the publicity editor for Columbia University Press that the new Huainanzi translation is out and that the translators are available to write something about it on this blog or to be interviewed. I’m not sure what kinds of things we might have them address as of yet since very few, if any, of us has had a chance to look at the volume. Any thoughts?

I did have a related set of questions about backgrounds of translators in general, ones that are relevant not only to our specialization but to others, which occurred to me in this context. Most ancient texts that interest philosophers tend to have been translated, at least into English, by non-philosophers — that is, by specialists who have specialized training in other fields than philosophy. Continue reading “Huainanzi Translation and Some Questions about Translation”

April 23, 2010 Posted by | Chinese philosophy - 中國哲學 - 中国哲学, Huainanzi, Translation | 34 comments