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Ta Hsueh and Chung Yung: The Highest Order of Cultivation AND On the Practice of the Mean (Penguin Classics) [Paperback]

PENGUIN GROUP (UK) , Andrew Plaks

Price: £10.63 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 Dec 2003 Penguin Classics
Set alongside The Analects and Mencius, these two texts make up the 'Four Books' of Chinese Confucian tradition. Their depiction of the 'Way of Great Learning' focuses on the moral tenets of Confucian thinking, establishing a universal framework that links individuals with the cosmos. By drawing together key ethical and philophical, and metaphysical issues, the essays deal with the individual's development of moral character. They have long occupied a central position in the educational and political infrastructure of China, Korea and Japan, and their influence and popularity continues to grow, in the East and in the West.

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Ta Hsueh and Chung Yung: The Highest Order of Cultivation AND On the Practice of the Mean (Penguin Classics) + Mencius (Penguin Classics) + The Book of Chuang Tzu (Penguin Classics)
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About the Author

ANDREW PLAKS is Professor of East Asian Studies at Princeton University. He has published widely on Chinese philosophy and religion. XINZHONG YAO is Professor of Religion & Ethics at the University of Wales, Lampeter.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The traditional title of this treatise - taken simply from the first two words of the text - is almost always given in Western translations as a variation, in one form or another, on the expression 'great learning'. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's about time Penguin Classics got to this! 1 Dec 2004
By Jim - Published on Amazon.com
I love Penguin Classics, and have since I was a teenager. Their translations of the Greek and Roman classics are my most prized books. So it was frustrating when I began learning about ancient China and realized all the great works out there that were just dying to be given the same treatment as Livy, Plato, etc.

So they've finally gotten to this most basic of texts, the Great Learning and the Doctrine of the Mean. Together with the Analects and Mencius, these make up the 4 books that were a main part of the civil service exams in imperial China (along with the 5 Classics: the Books of Documents, Odes, Changes, Rites, and the Spring and Autumn Annals).

One thing that should be changed about this translation is the use of Wade-Giles transcription instead of Pinyin. To me, Wade-Giles has always looked like a ridiculous attempt at phonetization - "Teng Hsiao-p'ing" instead of "Deng Xiaoping" Plus it is often misleading - the former Chinese leader's name starts with a "d" sound, not a "t" sound. I think Penguin needs to make it official policy to go to Pinyin, which is the standard usage in China and probably will be the VHS to Wade-Giles' Beta.

I also hope Penguin will produce more of the Chinese works that are kicking around out there. So far, Oxford World Classics have been beating them in the Asian classics category (only barely, though). Penguin could do a lot to introduce some classics to Westerners, and erase the myth that there aren't as many ancient works from China as there are from Greece and Rome.

I suggest Penguin publish the Book of Odes, Book of Documents, the Spring and Autumn Annals, the Tso Chuan, The Intrigue of the Warring States, the Conversations of the States, the Records of the Grand Historian, and Histories of the Former and Latter Han, all histories except the Book of Odes. These works would surely appeal to readers of Livy, Plutarch, Suetonius, Herodotus, and Thucydides. All it would take is a few footnotes and some maps to explain names and places a little. We shall see - but this book is a small step in the right direction.
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful translations of master works 5 Jun 2014
By Reviewer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great renditions and commentaries of Confucian classics that belong in the libraries of anyone with an interest in Chinese culture and philosophy. Timeless discussion of self-cultivation, spirit, morals, conduct. Easy to read, unlike some editions, and extensive supplementary information is included. Chinese names and terms are transliterated in the older Wade Giles system, which adds to a sense of historical connectivity even though the text and presentation are contemporary.
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