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A Treatise on Efficacy: Between Western and Chinese Thinking - download pdf or read online

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' belief of motion, seeks to realize without delay a predetermined objective via voluntary and assertive motion, the chinese language are likely to evaluation the ability inherent in a scenario (shi) and remodel it via nonassertiveness, hoping on the "propensity" of items in the sort of manner that the end result happens of itself. Jullien exhibits how those Western and chinese language innovations paintings in different domain names (the battlefield, for instance) and analyzes ensuing acts of conflict. The chinese language strategist manipulates his personal troops and the enemy to win a conflict with no waging warfare and to lead to victory without difficulty. Efficacity in China is hence conceived of by way of transformation (as against motion) and manipulation, making it in the direction of what's understood as efficacy within the West.
Jullien's fantastic interpretations of an array of recondite texts are key to knowing our personal conceptions of motion, time, and fact 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 viewpoint, A Treatise on Efficacy could be of primary significance within the highbrow debate among East and West.

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

Example text

We know that circumstances may often be unforeseen, Goal or Consequence even unforeseeable, and unprecedented, which is why it is not possible to draw up a plan in advance. Rather, they contain a certain potential from which, if we are agile and adaptable, we can profit. That is why the Chinese general projects and constructs nothing. Nor does he "deliberate" or need to choose (between equally possible means). This suggests that,. for him, there is not even an "end" set up in the distance as an ideal, but he continues to make the most of the situation as it unfolds (guided simply by whatever profit there is to be gained).

It is simply a matter of issuing orders. This makes it possible to exercise power fully without expending great efforts. Given the totally sufficient efficacy of the position of the ruler, the only task that falls to the prince in order for him to govern is to respect that position's automatic na­ ture and to maintain it unimpaired. Since sovereignty only exists thanks to that position and can count on no feelings of love or gratitude on the part of the people (in contrast to the paternalism of which Confucius dreamed), that sov­ ereign position has to defend itself against any infringe­ ment and prevent the establishment of any other position that could detract from its authority.

Given the evolution of the relation of forces, the outcome is predetermined even before battle is joined. " But a good gener­ al intervenes upstream in the process. He has already iden­ tified the factors favorable to him "before they have actu­ ally developed" and in this way has got the situation to evolve in the direction that suits him. When the accumu­ lated potential reveals itself to be completely in his favor, he engages resolutely in battle, and his success is assured. " Victory is predetermined and cannot swing off course, because it is implied in the relation of the forces present even before the battle is joined.

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

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