When Justin Tiwald and I published Neo-Confucianism: A Philosophical Introduction a few years ago, we also launched a companion website, neo-confucianism.com. Years and years ago, I also set up an extext site (take a look at some of the supporting material — reminds one what it was like to work in Chinese on an emerging internet back in the 1990s! 😉
Well, the server on which the etext site lives is being retired, which is an impetus to make some changes. The Song-Ming texts, and some of the more modern ones, are going to move to neo-confucianism.com. I will also try to fill out the texts available there, with section/page numbering that corresponds to English translations, where that is possible.
My question to you all is: what else should we seek to do with neo-confucianism.com? What would be useful? What resources do you know of (or would like to see created — no promises!)? Please share with me, either in comments here or via email. Thanks!
Hi, Steve. For my part, I’m relieved that you will preserve and enrich the e-texts from your old site. Yes, there are now some great websites with searchable e-texts in Chinese philosophy (Ctext being the most outstanding example), but I continue to find very useful the sort of enrichment that you did for Dai Zhen’s Mengzi ziyi shuzheng 孟子字義疏證, which is keyed to page numbers in standard editions (戴震全書 and Ewell’s English translation). That has made my work process much more efficient, because I can just search for memorable lines or passages and then quickly add Chinese and English citations for both audiences. Your version of Wang Yangming’s Chuanxilu 傳習錄 is useful for similar reasons. And just generally speaking, I think all textual scholars much prefer e-texts that are broken up into smaller units that can be easily be cited according to more conventional methods over giant blocks of relatively unbroken text. Great to hear that you’ll be doing something similar with some of the remaining e-texts.
I think the field could really use better e-texts for the Henan Chengshi yishu 河南程氏遺書, keyed to juan and page numbers in the Zhonghua shuju edition of the 二程集 — or, better yet, with the passages/paragraphs enumerated so that people can easily find the relevant passage without having to own any particular edition.
Because good scholarship tends to follow good basic resources, this could be an opportunity to draw more attention to the later Confucians philosophers that haven’t gotten as much attention as Zhu Xi and Wang Yangming and yet have long struck some of us as obviously sophisticated and interesting. We all have our biases and strong preferences, but I’d love to see, say, an e-text version of Huang Zongxi’s Mingyi daifang lu 明夷待訪錄 (keyed to de Bary’s translation) and some texts by Wang Fuzhi, although it’s hard to pick any one or two definitive works by the latter (perhaps JeeLoo Liu or Elton Chan would have thoughts).
All of these could be big undertakings! If they are much more than you think feasible or reasonable given the resources at your disposal, just consider this Justin’s idle thoughts or wishlist.
Thank you Steve, for posting and hosting these important materials! I just came here to second Justin’s great ideas, especially (given my own interests) for the Cheng brothers texts. Those can be very hard to access and cite in a way that is easy for others to follow up on. Again, this is just to say that my wishlist overlaps with Justin’s — this could be a lot of work! But still I thought I’d make this part of my wishlist public.