Hutton Reviews Jiang, Origins of Moral-Political Philosophy in Early China

Tao Jiang, Origins of Moral-Political Philosophy in Early China: Contestation of Humaneness, Justice, and Personal Freedom, Oxford University Press, 2021, 536pp., $35.00 (pbk), ISBN 9780197611364.

Reviewed by Eric L. Hutton, University of Utah

Tao Jiang’s book presents an ambitious and sweeping survey of early Chinese thought that is in some ways a successor—but also a rival—to a handful of other classic English-language studies likewise offering ambitious and sweeping treatments of the subject, such as Benjamin Schwartz’s The World of Thought in Ancient China (Belknap Press, 1985) and Angus Graham’s Disputers of the Tao (Open Court, 1989). An especially noteworthy feature of Jiang’s book is that it takes account of much recent research on the Chinese materials, including discussion of methodological controversies and texts recovered in archaeological finds. The volume can thus serve not…

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