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History of Chinese Political Thought, Volume 1: From the Beginnings to the Sixth Century, A.D.

History of Chinese Political Thought, Volume 1: From the Beginnings to the Sixth Century, A.D.

Kung-chuan Hsiao
Translated by F. W. Mote
Copyright Date: 1979
Pages: 800
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  • Book Info
    History of Chinese Political Thought, Volume 1: From the Beginnings to the Sixth Century, A.D.
    Book Description:

    This volume launches the translation of a work that describes the development of Chinese political thought from the time of Confucius in the late Chou era into the twentieth century. The author systematically treats leading thinkers, schools, and movements, displaying a consummate mastery of traditional Chinese learning, and of Western analytical and comparative methods. This first complete translation includes prefatory remarks by Kung-chuan Hsiao and notes prepared by the translator to assist the Western reader.

    Originally published in 1979.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6953-4
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Fan-li—General Principles Governing the Composition of This Work
    (pp. ix-x)
    K. C. HSIAO
  4. Author’s Foreword
    (pp. xi-xii)
    K. C. HSIAO

    It has been said that the greatest compliment a scholar can confer on a writer is to translate his work into another language, making it accessible to a wider circle of readers. F. W. Mote has done me a great honor indeed in rendering my book on Chinese political thought into English. This arduous task has been accomplished with as much consummate skill and erudition as with meticulous care. I owe him a debt of gratitude and appreciation far beyond repayment.

    The original editions, prepared under less than favorable conditions, contain many errors, grave or inconsiderable, that, due to circumstances...

  5. Translator’s Preface
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
    F. W. MOTE
  6. Notes on the Principles Guiding Translation
    (pp. xvii-xx)
  7. Introduction
    (pp. 3-27)

    China’s history is a continuum extending through centuries from a remote past. Its distant origins can be traced back four thousand years or more. [The archaeological evidence of course extends an ever more clearly verifiable indigenous pre-history many millennia back beyond the beginning of recorded history.]*Yet one who would study the history of China’s political thought must excise all that precedes a beginning no earlier than the late Chou period. The realities of the situation demand this; it does not signify a careless disregard for our origins. Prior to the Three Dynasties [i.e., Hsia, Shang, and Chou, the “Three...

  8. Part One: The Political Thought of the Feudal World (One)—The Period of Creativity

    • CHAPTER ONE The Various Schools of Political Thought in the Pre-Ch’in Age
      (pp. 28-78)

      Past discussions of the thought and learning of the pre-Ch’in age have customarily employed the names “The Hundred Schools”¹ and “The Nine Categories.² In a discussion of political thought, however, only the Confucian, Mohist, Taoist, and Legalist schools are important enough to be called major schools. Not only did each of these four make its own particular discoveries and establish itself as a distinctive school, but the four together also represent all the important attitudes of thought of the late Chou period.

      Let us speak first about attitudes of thought. Even at its best the feudal world of the Chou³...

    • CHAPTER TWO Confucius (551–479 B.C.)
      (pp. 79-142)

      The personal name of Master K’ung, or Confucius, was Ch’iu, and his formal name was Chung-ni. According to the accounts in ancient works, his ancestor, K’ung Fu-chia, was of the noble rank ofkung[usually translated “duke”]*and had served the state of Sung as Ssu-ma, or Grand Marshall. His great-grandfather, [K’ung] Fang-shu, was forced to flee for his life to the State of Lu, where he became theFang Ta-fu, or Great Officer of the city of Fang.¹ His father, whose name was [K’ung] Shu-liang Ho, was a Great Officer of the town of Tsou.² None of this is...

    • CHAPTER THREE Mencius and Hsün Tzu
      (pp. 143-213)

      TheAnalectsrecords that Confucius’ teachings were of four divisions [or subject-classes]*and theHan Fei Tzustates that “thejulearning had divided into eight branches”; theShih Chialso has said that the Confucian school “had seventy-seven followers who received his instruction and became deeply versed in it.”¹ Something of the flourishing condition of the Confucian thought and learning can be learned from these statements. However, not everyone who underwent training in consequence of which he was able to find employment in government necessarily also founded an independent line of teachings that could become prominent in its own...

    • CHAPTER FOUR Mo Tzu (ca. 490–403 B.C.)
      (pp. 214-272)

      Mo Tzu’s surname was Mo, his given name was Ti, and he was a native of the State of Lu.¹ Both his birth and death date are difficult to ascertain. Various scholars have offered quite different conclusions, but the most reliable view seems to be that he was born about the Thirtieth year of the reign of the Chou King Ching [490 b.c.]*and died about the Twenty-third year of King Wei-lieh [403 b.c.].² AS for the events of his life, we know next to nothing, because of the lack of documentary evidence. Mo Tzu’s ancestors may have been Yin...

    • CHAPTER FIVE Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu
      (pp. 273-318)

      Of the great thinkers who appeared during the pre-Chin period, biographical facts are in no other case so difficult to ascertain as are those concerning Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu, and of the two, that is especially so of Lao Tzu. Not merely are the events of his life shrouded in obscurity, even his surname, his given name, his birth, and his death are the subjects of many widely variant views, and no one can honestly say any of them is correct. TheShih Chi, ch. 63, in its biography of Lao Tzu, offers merely a vague and sketchy account...

    • CHAPTER SIX Kuan Tzu
      (pp. 319-367)

      Kuan Tzu’s formal name was Yi-wu, and his courtesy name was Chung; he was a native of Ying-shan district in the State of Ch’i.¹ In his youth, poor and of humble status, he became a close friend of a man called Pao Shu [or, Pao Shu-ya].*“Later, Pao Shu served Hsiao-po, a son of the Duke of Ch’i, and Kuan Chung served [another son, named] Chiu. Subsequently, when Hsiao-po succeeded to the ducal throne as Duke Huan, the Duke’s son Chiu died, and Kuan Chung was imprisoned. [This account conceals the unseemly rivalry between Duke’s sons over the succession. Chiu...

    • CHAPTER SEVEN Lord Shang and Han Fei Tzu
      (pp. 368-424)

      Adopting the sequence in which the schools were established, we have already designated the political thought of the Legalist school the last of the Pre-Ch’in era’s four major schools.¹ The book called theKuan Tzu, without doubt, does not come from the hand of Kuan Chung [even though its name attributes it to the famous statesman of the seventh century b.c. in the State of Ch’i; see Chapter Six above].*Moreover, a study of its content shows it to be, in large measure, a mixture of varied and inconsistent components; therefore it cannot be accepted as adequately representative of a...

  9. Part Two: The Political Thought of the Authoritarian Empire (One)—The Period of Continuity

    • CHAPTER EIGHT Mohists and Legalists in the Ch’in and Han Periods
      (pp. 427-468)

      When the State of Ch’in eliminated the Six States it brought about a profound and unprecedented change in China’s political history. Political institutions underwent the change from feudal decentralization to the commandery-county system of unification, while a polity of delegated powers exercised separately by members of an aristocracy was transformed into a monarchical authoritarianism.¹ Political thought, responding to this vast change, likewise entered a new stage. The “Introduction” has discussed this situation in general terms. This and the several following chapters will deal separately with the general features of the principal pre-Ch’in schools of thought, through the Ch’in and subsequent...

    • CHAPTER NINE From Chia Yi to Chung-ch’ang T’ung
      (pp. 469-548)

      During the Han dynasty, Confucian thought gained the position of the orthodox school of thought. This is widely known; it demands no further discussion. Yet were we merely to accept all those time-honored assertions that the Ch’in dynasty extinguished the ancient learning but, that, coming to the Han, it suddenly flourished anew, we would not be entirely faithful to the facts. Hsia Tseng-yu has stated that the Ch’in and the Han dynasties together constitute “the standard of Chinese culture,”¹ thereby noting that there were numerous elements of continuity in the Han institutions, and that there were similarities in the cultural...

    • CHAPTER TEN From the Lü-shih Ch’un-ch’iu to Wang Ch’ung’s Lun Heng
      (pp. 549-601)

      Confucian political thought in the Ch’in and Han eras turned from optimism to pessimism; we have described the general outlines of that in the preceding chapter. Taoist thought during that span of time also displays a similar tendency. The pre-Ch’in philosophy based on Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu, however, was negative to begin with. In the belief that the world should not be made the object of action, their doctrines were, therefore, centered on individual self-interest. After the Ch’in-Han unification of the empire, when the entire realm was newly stabilized, Lao-Chuang thought also began to undergo a transformation. There were...

    • CHAPTER ELEVEN From Wang Pi to Ko Hung
      (pp. 602-668)

      In the preceding two chapters, in the course of relating separately the political thought of the Confucian and Taoist Schools of the Ch’in-Han period, we have discovered that both displayed the tendency to turn away from optimism and toward pessimism. In seeking the causes that induced that change we have concluded that the failures of authoritarian government, and the disillusionment of the people at the time with the forms of authoritarian rule, were the principal objective and subjective reasons. For two bodies of thought so strikingly disparate in content simultaneously to undergo such analogous transformations certainly could not have been...

  10. Glossary
    (pp. 675-702)
  11. Bibliography
    (pp. 703-714)
  12. Index
    (pp. 715-778)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 779-779)