“Benevolence-Righteousness” as Strategic Terminology: Reading Mengzi’s “Ren-Yi” through Strategic Manuals

This essay offers an experimental interpretation for Mengzi’s 孟子 ren-yi 仁義 discourses, reading them as strategic prescriptions akin to those presented in classical strategic manuals. However, rather than arguing that it is the correct interpretation of Mengzi, I use it to highlight the ambiguity of Mengzi’s discourses. This ambiguity, I argue, motivated Zhuangzi’s 莊子 criticisms of moral language abuse and rationalizes some early narratives about Mengzi.
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DOI 10.1007/s11712-016-9532-8
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Lexical Changes in Zhanguo Texts.Yuri Pines - 2002 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 122 (4):691-705.
Methods of the Way: Early Chinese Ethical Thought.Jane M. Geaney & Rune Svarverud - 2003 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 123 (2):409.

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