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The Art of Chinese PhilosophyEight Classical Texts and How to Read Them$
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Paul Goldin

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691200798

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691200798.001.0001

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(p.79) Chapter Four Mencius
The Art of Chinese Philosophy

Paul R. Goldin

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses Mencius. The philosopher Mencius is probably the one to have furthered the Confucian mission the most out of any other Chinese philosopher of the fourth century BC and thereby inherited the mantle of Confucius himself. In later centuries, Neo-Confucians regarded him as the last sage. Mencius, however, poses many of the same interpretive problems as Confucius. Mencius did not write the surviving repository of his teachings, the eponymous Mencius, which was compiled after his death and edited in its present form by Zhao Qi. Zhao reported that he took a text in eleven sections and eliminated four that he considered inferior, leaving the Mencius in seven books that we know today.

Keywords:   Mencius, Zhao Qi, Confucius, Confucian philosophy, Neo-Confucians, Confucianism

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