Read e-book online A Treatise on Efficacy: Between Western and Chinese Thinking PDF

By François Jullien

ISBN-10: 0824828151

ISBN-13: 9780824828158

During this hugely insightful research of Western and chinese language options of efficacy, Francois Jullien subtly delves into the metaphysical preconceptions of the 2 civilizations to account for diverging styles of motion in battle, politics, and international relations. even if the Western version of efficacy, inherited from the traditional Greeks' perception of motion, seeks to realize without delay a predetermined target via voluntary and assertive motion, the chinese language are likely to assessment the ability inherent in a scenario (shi) and remodel it via nonassertiveness, counting on the "propensity" of items in this type of means that the outcome happens of itself. Jullien indicates how those Western and chinese language ideas paintings in numerous domain names (the battlefield, for instance) and analyzes ensuing acts of battle. The chinese language strategist manipulates his personal troops and the enemy to win a conflict with no waging battle and to lead to victory without difficulty. Efficacity in China is therefore conceived of when it comes to transformation (as against motion) and manipulation, making it towards what's understood as efficacy within the West.
Jullien's outstanding interpretations of an array of recondite texts are key to figuring out our personal conceptions of motion, time, and fact during this foray into the realm of chinese language concept. In its transparent and penetrating characterization of 2 contrasting perspectives of truth from a heretofore unexplored standpoint, A Treatise on Efficacy might be of important significance within the highbrow debate among East and West.

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Understood in this fashion, cir­ cumstances are no longer something unpredictable that will turn out in a particular way, always threatening to ruin any plan imposed upon them. Instead, thanks pre­ cisely to their variability, circumstances can progressively be turned to advantage by the propensity emanating from the situation. In this way, one escapes from a logic of model-making (where a model-plan is brought to bear) and also from the task of producing an embodiment (making a project or idea become a concrete temporal The system of evaluation 21 22 Treatise on Efficacy Circumstances are no longer "that which surrounds" Far from destroying a plan.

Along the way, the process of deliberation became internalized. It was by "deliberating within oneself" that an individual, establishing himself as "the origin of the future" (arche ton esomenon), planned his action. China, in contrast, did not set major store by deliberation in the organization of its political functioning. Instead, it founded its view of the world on regulation. As a result, it never conceived of effi­ cacy on the basis of action, as an identifiable entiry, but regarded it as a transformation.

Two criteria are possible: on the one hand, personal merit; on the other, the occupation of this position of authority. And in the legalists' view, the one excludes the other (HFZ, chap. 40, "Nan shi"). Either you rely on your personal qualities and exhaust yourself in your efforts, in which case the result is always precarious (HFZ, chap. 49, "Wu du"), or else you rely solely on that position of authority, allowing yourself to be "carried" along by it, as a dragon is by the clouds (see Shen Dao), in which case all orders are unfailingly executed (HFZ, chap.

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

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