New PDF release: A Treatise on Efficacy: Between Western and Chinese Thinking

By François Jullien

ISBN-10: 0824828151

ISBN-13: 9780824828158

During this hugely insightful research of Western and chinese language strategies of efficacy, Francois Jullien subtly delves into the metaphysical preconceptions of the 2 civilizations to account for diverging styles of motion in conflict, politics, and international relations. even supposing the Western version of efficacy, inherited from the traditional Greeks' notion of motion, seeks to achieve without delay a predetermined aim via voluntary and assertive motion, the chinese language are inclined to evaluation the ability inherent in a scenario (shi) and rework it via nonassertiveness, counting on the "propensity" of items in this type of method that the end result happens of itself. Jullien indicates how those Western and chinese language recommendations paintings in numerous domain names (the battlefield, for instance) and analyzes ensuing acts of warfare. The chinese language strategist manipulates his personal troops and the enemy to win a conflict with no waging warfare and to result in victory without problems. Efficacity in China is therefore conceived of by way of transformation (as against motion) and manipulation, making it toward what's understood as efficacy within the West.
Jullien's marvelous interpretations of an array of recondite texts are key to realizing our personal conceptions of motion, time, and truth during this foray into the area of chinese language suggestion. In its transparent and penetrating characterization of 2 contrasting perspectives of truth from a heretofore unexplored point of view, A Treatise on Efficacy may be of imperative value within the highbrow debate among East and West.

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Additional info for A Treatise on Efficacy: Between Western and Chinese Thinking

Example text

Compared with this gaping hole that the argument of indeterminacy and chance leaves at the heart of Western theory, the hard-and-fast position adopted by the ancient Chinese treatises may come as something of a surprise. For whoever knows how to rely on the potential of the sit­ uation, "victory in battle is unswerving" (5Z, chap. 4, "Xing"). " According to the glosses, there is no possibility of things going "awry" (Zhang Yu), no "two" possible evolutions of the situation (Li Quan; cf. the "constant capacity" that is unswerving in Laozi, section 28).

Remember that, in choosing their acts, all men are guid­ ed only by conjectures, never knowing what will turn to their advantage," the old king tells his son (Xenophon, Cyropaedia, I, 6). That is why, whether'it-j� a matter of conquering the enemy by force or by cunning, "I counsel you to work with God" (Xenophon, Cavalry Commander, V). Rounding off the Greek rationalization of human action, Aristotle too classified the art of military strategy alongside that of navigation and declared that chance as well as skill played a part in both (Eudemian Ethics, VIII, 2, 1247a): technae can complement tuche but never exclude it.

But it is perfectly possible for "the end and the means to be at odds instead of in agreement (or "in symphony," sumphonein, as Aristotle puts it). " Platonism was concerned solely with the excellence of the end (culminating in the supreme end, the idea of the good) and so regarded the administration of the means merely as immediately subordinate to the attainment of the end. But Aristotle no longer believed that means stem so easily from the idealend and regarded Means that are intractable to their _ ends 35 36 Treatise on Efficacy their adaptation as problematic.

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A Treatise on Efficacy: Between Western and Chinese Thinking by François Jullien

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