With Selections from Traditional Commentaries

Ranked #3 in Confucianism, Ranked #53 in Chinese

Bryan Van Norden's new translation of the Mengzi (Mencius) is accurate, philosophically nuanced, and fluent. Accompanied by selected passages from the classic commentary of Zhu Xi - one of the most influential and insightful interpreters of Confucianism - this edition provides readers with a parallel to the Chinese practice of reading a classic text alongside traditional commentaries. Also included are an Introduction that situates Mengzi and Zhu Xi in their intellectual and social contexts; a glossary of names, places and important terms; a selected bibliography; and an...


Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of Mengzi from the world's leading experts.

Michael Puett He is clearly seen as brilliant, someone whose philosophy is extraordinarily powerful, and yet the text will—despite having been written by his own disciples—present him as sometimes failing. It’s part of the power of the text that it shows someone trying, on a daily basis, to live up to his own philosophy and, at times, failing to do so, and then learning from that. (Source)

Daniel A. Bell Mencius believed that we are born good. He had a fairly optimistic view of human nature as well as the view that the government should rely upon informal means of social control rather than harsh punishment as a way of securing social order and harmony. (Source)

Bryan Van Norden Mengzi argues that we can actually become better people through various activities, and that a kind of ethical transformation is possible. (Source)

Andrew Copson Mencius gives the example of a child falling down a well. He says, ‘When a child falls down a well, what do people do? They don’t just run away, they run towards it.’ They almost can’t help themselves–it’s something they just do. And he observes this and builds part of his moral philosophy on it. (Source)

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