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Paul van Els
Leiden University
  1.  75
    Sun Tzu: The Art of War. A New Translation by Michael Nylan. [REVIEW]Paul van Els - 2022 - Journal of Chinese Studies 74:286–92.
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  2.  1
    The Wenzi: Creativity and Intertextuality in Early Chinese Philosophy.Paul van Els - 2018 - Leiden: Brill.
    This monograph, the first of its kind in English, offers a detailed study of the Wenzi, a controversial Chinese philosophical text. The book also sheds light on text production and reception in Chinese history, with its changing views on authorship, originality, authenticity, and forgery.
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  3.  25
    Tilting Vessels and Collapsing Walls: On the Rhetorical Function of Anecdotes in Early Chinese Texts.Paul van Els - 2012 - Extrême-Orient Extrême-Occident 34:141–66.
    Early Chinese argumentative texts are full of historical anecdotes. These short accounts of events in Chinese history enhance the appeal of the text, but they also have an important rhetorical function in helping the reader understand, accept, and remember the arguments propounded in the text. In this paper I examine the rhetorical function of historical anecdotes in two argumentative texts of the Western Han dynasty (202 BCE-9 CE): Han’s Illustrations of the Odes for Outsiders and The Master of Huainan. These (...)
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  4.  52
    Moral Beauty and the Beast: Ethical Dilemmas in the Mencius.Paul van Els - 2021 - Journal of Confucian Philosophy and Culture 35:13–45.
    This article analyzes Mencius 7B.23, a concise passage that offers complex ethical dilemmas. It provides a close reading of the passage, along with relevant passages elsewhere in the text and, occasionally, in other texts. The narrow goal of the article is to present a coherent reading of the passage within the context of the Mencius as a whole. This reading suggests that while the passage touches upon a wide range of topics, including personal credibility and political responsibility, the overarching concern (...)
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  5.  47
    Confucius's Sayings Entombed: On Two Han Dynasty Bamboo Lunyu Manuscripts.Paul van Els - 2018 - In Michael Hunter & Martin Kern (eds.), Confucius and the Analects Revisited: New Perspectives on Composition, Dating, and Authorship. Leiden, Netherlands: pp. 152–86.
    This paper is intended as a gateway to two 2000-year-old manuscripts of the Analects. The first two sections discuss the archaeological context of the discoveries and analyse the manuscripts themselves, including characteristic features of the bamboo strips and the texts inked thereon and notable differences between these and other Analects versions. In these sections, I also critically evaluate present-day Analects studies and offer alternative hypotheses where there is room for debate. The third and final section of the paper discusses what (...)
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  6.  41
    Four Walls and a Roof Do Not Form a House. [REVIEW]Paul van Els - 2003 - China Nu 28:34–35.
    van Els, Paul. "Vier muren en een dak vormen geen huis" (Four Walls and a Roof Do Not Form a House). Review of 25 eeuwen oosterse filosofie, edited by Jan Bor and Karel van der Leeuw. China Nu 28, no. 4 (2003): 34–35.
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  7.  35
    How to End Wars with Words: Three Argumentative Strategies by Mozi and his Followers.Paul van Els - 2013 - In Carine Defoort & Nicolas Standaert (eds.), The Mozi as an Evolving Text: Different Voices in Early Chinese Thought. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill. pp. 69–94.
    The Mozi contains at least three distinct arguments against offensive warfare. The "moral argument" claims that offensive warfare is morally wrong. The "economic argument" calculates that the foreseeable costs of a military campaign inevitably outweigh its possible benefits. The "religious argument" warns that military aggression harms the interests of Heaven. This paper discusses these three lines of argumentation, with extensive reference to the original text in translation. The paper explores what the arguments entail, to whom they may have been addressed, (...)
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  8.  30
    Echoes of the Dao.Paul van Els - 2007 - Het Trage Vuur 40:29–35.
    van Els, Paul. "Echo's van de Weg" (Echoes of the Dao). Dutch translation of Huainanzi chapter 12. Het Trage Vuur 40 (December 2007): 29–35.
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  9.  23
    #MeToo avant la lettre.Paul van Els - 2018 - Filosofie-Tijdschrift 28 (3):35–39.
    van Els, Paul. "#MeToo avant la lettre." Filosofie-Tijdschrift 28, no. 3 (May 2018): 35–39.
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  10.  23
    The Philosophy of the Proto-Wenzi.Paul van Els - 2015 - In Xiaogan Liu (ed.), Dao Companion to Daoist Philosophy. New York, NY, USA: pp. 325–40.
    This paper presents the main aspects of the proto-Wenzi’s philosophy, with a focus on its intricate relationship with the Laozi. They show that the proto-Wenzi advocates a philosophy of quietude, not only in terms of its content, but also through the rhetoric it uses to create a harmonious synthesis of diverse, and at times even incompatible, ideas.
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  11.  22
    Against Offensive Warfare.Paul van Els - 2007 - Het Trage Vuur 40:8–19.
    van Els, Paul. "Tegen aanvalsoorlogen" (Against Offensive Warfare). Dutch translation of Mozi chapters 17, 18, and 19. Het Trage Vuur 40 (December 2007): 8–19.
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  12.  21
    Accept Fate. [REVIEW]Paul van Els - 2009 - China Nu 34:46–47.
    van Els, Paul. "Aanvaard het lot" (Accept Fate). Review of De geschriften van Liezi: de taoïstische kunst van het relativeren, by Jan De Meyer. China Nu 34, no. 1 (2009): 46–47.
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  13.  19
    De heer en het beest: De eerbare mens volgens Mencius.Paul van Els - 2020 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 82:241–64.
    Anecdotes play an important role in ancient Chinese philosophical writings. This essay offers a close reading of one anecdote in the Mencius, one of the most influential Confucian texts. This reading provides insight into what it means, according to Mencius, to be a morally superior human being. The goal of this essay is to provide insight into the ethical and political philosophy of Mencius and, more broadly, to provide a guideline for reading Chinese philosophical writings in an attentive and receptive (...)
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  14.  18
    A Non-Existent Doctrine. [REVIEW]Paul van Els - 2006 - China Nu 31:46–47.
    van Els, Paul. "Een niet-bestaande leer" (A Non-Existent Doctrine). Review of Confucianisme, by Burchard J. Mansvelt Beck. China Nu 31, no. 1 (2006): 46–47.
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  15.  18
    New Perspectives on the Wenzi. [REVIEW]Paul van Els - 2002 - China Review International 9:91–97.
    Review of Wenzi xinlun (New Perspectives on the Wenzi), Wenzi ziliao tansuo (Exploration of the Wenzi Materials), and Huainanzi yu Wenzi kaobian (Examination of the Huainanzi and the Wenzi), by DING Yuanzhi.
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  16.  17
    Exhortation to Self-Examination. [REVIEW]Paul van Els - 2008 - China Nu 33:46–47.
    van Els, Paul. "Aansporing tot zelfonderzoek" (Exhortation to Self-Examination). Review of De Chinese fascinatie voor de geest (The Chinese Fascination with the Mind), by Dianne Sommers. China Nu 33, no. 4 (2008): 46–47.
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  17.  16
    Humanitarian in a Food Culture. [REVIEW]Paul van Els - 2008 - China Nu 33:46–47.
    van Els, Paul. "Wereldverbeteraar in een eetcultuur" (Humanitarian in a Food Culture). Review of Mencius: Inleiding, vertaling en commentaar, by Karel van der Leeuw. China Nu 33, no. 3 (2008): 46–47.
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  18.  15
    Leibniz: China's Friend in Europe. [REVIEW]Paul van Els - 2006 - China Nu 31:46–47.
    van Els, Paul. "Leibniz: China's vriend in Europa" (Leibniz: China's Friend in Europe) Review of Leibniz: Over de Natuurlijke Theologie van de Chinezen, by Karel van der Leeuw. China Nu 31, no. 2 (2006): 46–47.
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  19.  15
    Differentiation and Integration in Daoism. [REVIEW]Paul van Els - 2003 - IIAS Newsletter 30:37.
    Review of Daoist Identity. History, Lineage, and Ritual, by Livia Kohn and Harold D. Roth.
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  20.  14
    The Master Finally Speaks Dutch. [REVIEW]Paul van Els - 2015 - Filter 22:55–56.
    van Els, Paul. "De Meester spreekt nu eindelijk Nederlands" (The Master Finally Speaks Dutch). Review of Confucius: de Gesprekken, by Kristofer Schipper. Filter 22, no. 1 (2015): 55–56.
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  21.  14
    New Evidence for the Date of the Wenzi. [REVIEW]Paul van Els - 2005 - China Review International 12:121–23.
    Review of Che Wah Ho's Wenzi zhuzuo niandai xinzheng.
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  22.  14
    The Wenzi in the Light of History and Archaeology. [REVIEW]Paul van Els - 2002 - China Review International 8:426–30.
    Review of Le Wen zi à la lumière de l'histoire et de l'archéologie (The Wenzi in the Light of History and Archaeology), by Charles Le Blanc.
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  23.  13
    Political Rhetoric in Early China.Paul van Els & Elisa Sabattini - 2012 - Extrême-Orient Extrême-Occident 34:5–14.
    Early Chinese thought enjoys a wide appeal, in the scholarly world as much as elsewhere, as people are keen on learning about the ideas of Confucius, Mencius, and other thinkers whose views have shaped traditional Chinese culture. In the study of early Chinese thought, emphasis has long been on what thinkers said, not on how they proffered their views. Even studies that do consider the how, tend to focus on logic and argumentation, rather than rhetoric. Fortunately, in the past few (...)
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  24.  12
    Righteous, Furious, or Arrogant? On Classifications of Warfare in Early Chinese Texts.Paul van Els - 2013 - In Peter Lorge (ed.), Debating War in Chinese History. Leiden, Netherlands: pp. 13–40.
    This chapter studies classifications of warfare in Master Wu, The Four Canons, and Master Wen. In sections one through three, I analyze the classifications in their original contexts. How do they relate to the texts in which they appear? In what way does each classification feed into the overall philosophy of the text? In section four, I compare the three classifications. What are their similarities and differences? In section five, I discuss the possibility of a relationship between the three classifications. (...)
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  25.  15
    Persuasion through Definition: Argumentative Features of the Ancient Wenzi.Paul van Els - 2006 - Oriens Extremus 45:211–34.
    This paper aims to reconstruct the politico-philosophical content of the Ancient Wenzi, according to three interrelated questions: How does the text communicate its views to the reader? What are its main ideas? When and where were these ideas first put to writing? Accordingly, after a discussion of preliminaria in section 1, section 2 focuses on the rhetorical devices in the text, section 3 on its key terms, and section 4 on its possible historical context. The goal of this paper is (...)
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  26.  4
    Yin and Yang.Paul van Els - 2015 - In Harry Willemsen & Peter de Wind (eds.), Woordenboek filosofie. Apeldoorn, Netherlands: pp. 617.
    van Els, Paul. "Yin en Yang" (Yin and Yang). In: Woordenboek filosofie (Dictionary of Philosophy), edited by Harry Willemsen and Peter de Wind, 617. Antwerpen & Apeldoorn: Garant, 2015.
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  27. Anecdotes in Early China.Paul van Els & Sarah A. Queen - 2017 - In Paul van Els & Sarah A. Queen (eds.), Between History and Philosophy: Anecdotes in Early China. Albany, NY, USA: pp. 1–37.
    This paper introduces the first English-language book-length study to focus on the rhetorical function of anecdotal narratives across several literary genres of early China. In this volume we seek to clarify the nature and function of early Chinese anecdotes by raising the following questions: What are their characteristic features? What are their generic boundaries, that is to say, how do they relate to other types of narrative? What degree of historical authenticity do they display? How malleable were the stories? What (...)
     
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  28.  2
    Between History and Philosophy: Anecdotes in Early China.Paul van Els & Sarah A. Queen (eds.) - 2017 - Albany, NY, USA: State University of New York Press.
    Between History and Philosophy is the first book-length study in English to focus on the rhetorical functions and forms of anecdotal narratives in early China. Edited by Paul van Els and Sarah A. Queen, this volume advances the thesis that anecdotes—brief, freestanding accounts of single events involving historical figures, and occasionally also unnamed persons, animals, objects, or abstractions—served as an essential tool of persuasion and meaning-making within larger texts. Contributors to the volume analyze the use of anecdotes from the Warring (...)
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  29.  13
    Confucius spreekt.Paul van Els & Carine Defoort - 2021 - 2920 Kalmthout, Belgium: Pelckmans.
    This book contains translations of roughly fifty statements attributed to Confucius. Each statement is followed by an explanation and a reflection on how Confucius can continue to inspire, whether it's on the importance of learning or rituals, self-examination and self-improvement, or virtuous leadership.
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  30. Exhortation to Learning.Paul van Els - 2003 - In Carine Defoort & Nicolas Standaert (eds.), Hemel en Aarde verenigen zich door rituelen: een bloemlezing uit het werk van de Chinese wijsgeer Xunzi. 2950 Kapellen, Belgium: pp. 36–52.
    van Els, Paul. "Aansporing tot leren" (Exhortation to Learning). In Hemel en Aarde verenigen zich door rituelen: een bloemlezing uit het werk van de Chinese wijsgeer Xunzi, edited by Carine Defoort and Nicolas Standaert, 36–52. Kapellen: Uitgeverij Pelckmans, 2003.
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  31. Exhortation to Learning.Paul van Els - 2003 - In Carine Defoort & Nicolas Standaert (eds.), Hemel en Aarde verenigen zich door rituelen: een bloemlezing uit het werk van de Chinese wijsgeer Xunzi. 2950 Kapellen, Belgium: pp. 36–52.
    van Els, Paul. "Aansporing tot leren" (Exhortation to Learning). In Hemel en Aarde verenigen zich door rituelen: een bloemlezing uit het werk van de Chinese wijsgeer Xunzi, edited by Carine Defoort and Nicolas Standaert, 36–52. Kapellen: Uitgeverij Pelckmans, 2003.
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  32. Old Stories No Longer Told: The End of the Anecdotes Tradition of Early China.Paul van Els - 2017 - In Paul van Els & Sarah A. Queen (eds.), Between History and Philosophy: Anecdotes in Early China. Albany, NY, USA: pp. 331–56.
    This chapter analyzes the anecdotes tradition of early China. It contains three parts. Part 1 is a case study of a single anecdote, which serves as a typical example of the thriving anecdotal tradition of early China, from the earliest Chinese narrative histories to the end of the Western Han Dynasty. Part 2 continues the case study by analyzing what happened to that single anecdote in texts from the Eastern Han Dynasty onwards, thereby illustrating the rapid decline of the anecdotes (...)
     
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  33.  2
    Chinese Philosophy.Paul van Els - 2015 - In Harry Willemsen & Peter de Wind (eds.), Woordenboek filosofie. Apeldoorn, Netherlands: pp. 90–91.
    van Els, Paul. "Chinese filosofie" (Chinese Philosophy). In: Woordenboek filosofie, edited by Harry Willemsen and Peter de Wind, 90–91. Antwerpen & Apeldoorn: Garant, 2015.
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  34.  2
    Three Pleas Against War.Paul van Els - 2009 - In Carine Defoort & Nicolas Standaert (eds.), Tien stellingen tegen Confucius: Het pleidooi van de Chinese wijsgeer Mozi. 2950 Kapellen, Belgium: pp. 106–133.
    van Els, Paul. "Drie pleidooien tegen oorlog" (Three Pleas Against War). In Tien stellingen tegen Confucius: Het pleidooi van de Chinese wijsgeer Mozi, edited by Carine Defoort and Nicolas Standaert, 106–133. Kapellen: Uitgeverij Pelckmans, 2009.
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  35.  2
    Xunzi: The Person and His Work.Paul van Els & Masayuki Sato - 2003 - In Carine Defoort & Nicolas Standaert (eds.), Hemel en Aarde verenigen zich door rituelen: een bloemlezing uit het werk van de Chinese wijsgeer Xunzi. 2950 Kapellen, Belgium: pp. 15–22.
    Sato, Masayuki, and Paul van Els. "Xunzi: de persoon en zijn werk" (Xunzi: The Person and His Work). In Hemel en Aarde verenigen zich door rituelen: een bloemlezing uit het werk van de Chinese wijsgeer Xunzi, edited by Carine Defoort and Nicolas Standaert, 15–22. Kapellen: Uitgeverij Pelckmans, 2003.
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  36.  20
    Guest Editor's Introduction.Paul van Els - 2002 - Contemporary Chinese Thought 34 (1):3-18.
    Huang-Lao is now generally regarded as a set of ideas that gained currency from the final stages of the Warring States period to well into the Han dynasty. "Huang" stands for Huangdi, the Yellow Emperor; "Lao" refers to Laozi, the "Old Master," who is traditionally regarded as the founder of Daoism. Huang-Lao is thus a combination of ideas attributed to the mythical figures of the Yellow Emperor and Laozi. What those ideas are and how they have manifested themselves in Chinese (...)
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