Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale
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In 1993, archaeologists unearthed a set of ancient bamboo scrolls that contained the earliest known version of the Dao de jing. Composed more than two thousand years ago, this life-changing document offers a regimen of self-cultivation to attain personal excellence and revitalize moral behavior. Now in this luminous new translation, renowned China scholars Roger T. Ames and David L. Hall bring the timeless wisdom of the Dao de jing into our contemporary world.

In this elegant volume, Ames and Hall feature the original Chinese texts of the Dao de jing and translate them into crisp, chiseled English that reads like poetry. Each of the eighty-one brief chapters is followed by clear, thought-provoking commentary exploring the layers of meaning in the text. This new version of one of the world’s most influential documents will stand as both a compelling introduction to Daoist thought and as the classic modern English translation.

Review

“A NEW ENGLISH VERSION OF THE CLASSIC CHINESE DAO DE JING . . . Provoke[s] the reader to see the text with fresh eyes.
This is a valuable find for anyone who wants to reengage a foundational work.”
Publishers Weekly

From the Inside Flap

In 1993, archaeologists unearthed a set of ancient bamboo scrolls that contained the earliest known version of the Dao de jing. Composed more than two thousand years ago, this life-changing document offers a regimen of self-cultivation to attain personal excellence and revitalize moral behavior. Now in this luminous new translation, renowned China scholars Roger T. Ames and David L. Hall bring the timeless wisdom of the Dao de jing into our contemporary world.

In this elegant volume, Ames and Hall feature the original Chinese texts of the Dao de jing and translate them into crisp, chiseled English that reads like poetry. Each of the eighty-one brief chapters is followed by clear, thought-provoking commentary exploring the layers of meaning in the text. This new version of one of the worlds most influential documents will stand as both a compelling introduction to Daoist thought and as the classic modern English translation.

From the Back Cover

In 1993, archaeologists unearthed a set of ancient bamboo scrolls that contained the earliest known version of the "Dao de jing. Composed more than two thousand years ago, this life-changing document offers a regimen of self-cultivation to attain personal excellence and revitalize moral behavior. Now in this luminous new translation, renowned China scholars Roger T. Ames and David L. Hall bring the timeless wisdom of the "Dao de jing into our contemporary world.
In this elegant volume, Ames and Hall feature the original Chinese texts of the "Dao de jing and translate them into crisp, chiseled English that reads like poetry. Each of the eighty-one brief chapters is followed by clear, thought-provoking commentary exploring the layers of meaning in the text. This new version of one of the world''s most influential documents will stand as both a compelling introduction to Daoist thought and as the classic modern English translation.

About the Author

Roger T. Ames is a professor of Chinese philosophy at the University of Hawai’i. He is also editor of the journal Philosophy East & West. He is the author of several interpretive studies of classical Confucianism, including Thinking Through Confucius (with David L. Hall). His translation of Sun-tzu: The Art of Warfare is recognized as a landmark of contemporary Chinese military and philosophical studies and his translation of The Analects of Confucius (with Henry Rosemont, Jr.) has become a popular classroom text.

David L. Hall was a professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at El Paso. His early research on A. N. Whitehead and American philosophy led him to rethink our understanding of both Daoism and classical Greek philosophy, and resulted in the publication of The Uncertain Phoenix and Eros and Irony. In addition to the interpretive studies of classical Chinese philosophy, he continued to publish in American philosophy with Richard Rorty: Prophet and Poet of the New Pragmatism.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Preface and Acknowledgments

The Daodejing has probably been translated into the English language more often than any other piece of world literature. Why translate it again? An entirely reasonable question.

And a reasonable question requires a reasonable answer. Recent archaeological finds (Mawangdui 1973 and Guodian 1993) have provided us with textual materials that are physically more than a millennium earlier than previously available versions of Daodejing. Such finds challenge the authority of existing translations to the extent that these new materials have increased our knowledge of the text and of the circumstances of its transmission. And there is broad scholarly agreement that these early redactions of the Daodejing do indeed cast important new light on the structure and the meaning of this defining document in Daoist philosophy.

In addition to providing new insights into an old document, these archaeological finds have also provided us with textual materials that are importantly different from what has been available up until now, enabling us to resolve some persistent linguistic problems. Undoubtedly the most substantial addition to the Daodejing are the fourteen strips– The Great One Gives Birth to the Waters–that appear as an integral element within one of the Guodian versions of the text. Beyond the seamless physical consistency of these strips with the rest of this early exemplar of the Daodejing, they contain a discussion of Daoist cosmology that not only uses the familiar Daodejing vocabulary, but further brings a clarity to this cosmology that enables us to understand other chapters of the Daodejing in a way that has not been possible before. In deference to a continuing and yet inconclusive debate on the relationship between this exciting new portion of the text and the Daodejing itself, we have followed the practice of excerpting this new document and of giving it the title The Great One Gives Birth to the Waters. We have translated it, and have discussed it in some detail, in an appendix. Whatever the ultimate status of these strips with respect to the Daodejing itself, their critical importance as a resource for illuminating the Daoist response to the cosmological question of the source and nature of creativity is nowhere in question.

However, beyond the archaeological finds there is, if possible, an even more compelling reason to take up the project of offering yet another English-language translation of the Daodejing. The Daodejing is a profoundly “philosophical” text, and yet it has not been treated as such. It has been translated and interpreted initially by missionaries, and more recently by sinologists. That is to say that, to date, the Daodejing has only incidentally and tangentially been engaged by philosophers. This assertion is meant neither to impugn the usually good intentions of the missionaries nor to pretend that there is any substitute for the sophisticated philological, historical, literary, and cultural sensibilities that we associate with good sinology. In fact, if there is an indictment to be made, it is to be directed against professional philosophy in our Western seats of learning that, in its own self-understanding, continues to insist that philosophy is exclusively an Anglo-European enterprise.


Given this marginalization of other philosophical traditions, philosophy as a discipline has an unfulfilled responsibility to our academy. An essential occupation of philosophers is to identify and describe the generic traits of the human experience in order to locate problems within the broadest possible context. And these defining generic characteristics are importantly different as we move from one cultural and epochal site to another. Philosophers have the responsibility to seek out and to understand the uncommon assumptions that distinguish cultures as a preventative against cultural reductionism and the misconceptions such ethnocentrism entails. Thus, the absence of philosophers in the interpretation of Chinese philosophy has come at a cost. It has become a commonplace to acknowledge that, in the process of Western humanists attempting to make sense of the classical Chinese philosophical literature, many Western assumptions have inadvertently been insinuated into the understanding of these texts, and have colored the vocabulary through which this understanding has been articulated. Chinese philosophy has been made familiar to Western readers by first “Christianizing” it, and then more recently by locating it within a poetical-mystical-occult worldview. To the extent that Chinese philosophy has become the subject of Western philosophical interest at all, it has usually been analyzed within the framework of categories and philosophical problems not its own.

The recent recovery of new versions of existing texts and the further discovery of many that have been long lost has occasioned the retranslation of many of the classics, and has provided both a pretext and an opportunity for philosophers to step up and rethink our standard readings. Most importantly, it has presented us with the challenges of trying, with imagination, to take these texts on their own terms by locating and interpreting them within their own worldview.

The happy collaboration of Hall and Ames has, over nearly a quarter of a century, been an attempt, however imperfect, to bring together both sinological and philosophical skills first in our interpretive studies of classical Chinese philosophy, and more recently, in our new translations of seminal texts. In developing a strategy for our translations, benefiting enormously from the participation of Henry Rosemont Jr. in these efforts, we have developed a structure that includes a philosophical introduction, an evolving glossary of key philosophical terms, a self-consciously interpretive translation, and the inclusion of a critical Chinese text.





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4.4 out of 54.4 out of 5
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Top reviews from the United States

An File Dubh
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Possibly the Best Translation Available in English
Reviewed in the United States on February 21, 2019
Having read a number of translations of the Dao De Jing, and bearing in mind that each has its own slant, each translator making their own choices -- I am inclined to say that this one by Ames & Hall is the best. The main reason I say so is because of its emphasis on dao as... See more
Having read a number of translations of the Dao De Jing, and bearing in mind that each has its own slant, each translator making their own choices -- I am inclined to say that this one by Ames & Hall is the best. The main reason I say so is because of its emphasis on dao as a "way-making" process, centralizing the relational nature of the world, the environment, the people and other beings in it, rather than depicting "the Dao" as some sort of mystical entity (that in many translations tends to stand in for "God" in the Western mind, and that creates the universe). Ames and Hall, instead, foreground the open-ended nature of dao and of life itself, where all beings are participants in, as their sub-title has it, making this life significant. I also like their in-depth discussion on the various wu- forms (wuwei, wuxin, wushi, wuyu, etc.). For example, they define wuwei not as the usual "non-doing," which suggests that Taoists should be passive or non-participatory, and instead translate it as "non-coercive action," i.e. it actually is a kind of action, but the kind that is "uncompromised by stored knowledge or ingrained habits. . . . [instead] the result of deferential responses to the item or event in accordance with which, or in relation to which, one is acting" (p. 39). There is also an emphasis here on connectivity and inter-relationship. As they write in their extensive (and inspiring) introduction, "creativity is both self-creativity and co-creativity. Either everything shares in creativity, or there is no creativity. Indeed, it is this transactional, co-creative character of all creative processes that precludes the project of self-cultivation and self-creation from being egoistic" (p. 17). I see that others in this review section have sometimes found the book "too academic," but I didn''t think so at all. It does help to have some knowledge of basic philosophical concepts. I would also suggests than any book that is truly worthwhile asks us to be active readers, and we should not expect that a text as "deep" as the Dao De Jing, which itself utilizes a number of very specific terms and ideas, translated from an ancient language, is going to be easy. That said, once you tune into what Ames and Hall are doing here, it is perhaps simpler than it seems.
9 people found this helpful
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CS
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
An Important Philosophical Work
Reviewed in the United States on October 8, 2019
I have quite a few books on Daoism with at least 7 different translations of the Daodejing. So, I was hesitant to acquire yet another translation. However, Roger Ames name kept popping up in various blogs. Ultimately, I began to feel that I should look into his work. And I... See more
I have quite a few books on Daoism with at least 7 different translations of the Daodejing. So, I was hesitant to acquire yet another translation. However, Roger Ames name kept popping up in various blogs. Ultimately, I began to feel that I should look into his work. And I have not been disappointed.

I found a short essay online and viewed one or two online videos of his lectures. I decided to purchase this book partly because of my lifelong interest in Daoist thought and partly because I felt Ames might have different perspective. To be sure, this is not just another labor in translation. It goes far beyond that. Ames approaches this translation with the depth and rigor that one might expect of a western philosopher. This might be off-putting to some students of the Daodejing as we generally tend to want simplicity in our translations. However, Ames does not go into this depth simply for the sake of emulating western philosophy. What makes this work unique is the interest Ames has in Linguistics and how language shapes and forms our world view. So, equipped with his knowledge of language and philosophy in general he sets about translating the Daodejing.

So that the reader is prepared for the translation, the firat 50ish pages of this work are an intense explication of certain daoist concepts introducing the unusual use of certain words and phrases that have specific philosophical meaning that are used later in the analysis of the 81 chapters of the Daodejing. These well developed concepts open the reader to a much broader understanding of the passages.

This book does much to bridge eastern and western thought. It is a must read for those with more of a philosophical interest in the Daodejing.
3 people found this helpful
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Stephen N. Greenleaf
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Classic Translated via Classical Scholarship & a (American) Pragmatic Perspectives
Reviewed in the United States on October 16, 2014
This book is one of the fundamental texts of civilization. It is distinctly Chinese, yet it now belongs to the world. Or at least it should belong to anyone interested in a unique and inviting perspective on the world. Of course, English language readers have a huge number... See more
This book is one of the fundamental texts of civilization. It is distinctly Chinese, yet it now belongs to the world. Or at least it should belong to anyone interested in a unique and inviting perspective on the world. Of course, English language readers have a huge number of translations to choose from, but of the several that I’ve read, this is my favorite.

Ames is the China scholar, while the late David Hall comes out of the traditions of process philosophy and pragmatism. Together, they bring a sense of scholarly precision about the source and context of the original texts (and sources and completeness always becomes an issue with a text this old and revered) along with a perspective about how we can understand this work in the contemporary world. For instance, they identify the concept of the focus and field as a central metaphor in the work. Their commentaries on each chapter often refer to ideas familiar to current readers as consistent with process philosophy and pragmatism. (Daoism isn’t consistently with a static metaphysics, that’s for sure.) The commentary helps readers grasp the often allusive words and implicit references in the text that would otherwise leave readers baffled and confused. For contemporary readers from the West, the text communicates in terms of metaphor and allusion that are alien to our normal way of thinking. This is how they define their project:

We will argue that the defining purpose of the Daodejing is bringing into focus and sustaining a productive disposition that allows for the fullest appreciation of those specific things and events that constitute one’s field of experience. The project, simply put, is to get the most out of what each of us is: a quantum of unique experience. It is making this life significant.

Ames, Roger; Hall, David (2010-05-12). Dao De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (Kindle Locations 285-288). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

There are no doubt many fine translations available for this classic, and each one no doubt sheds insight and re-creates the intention of the text, but this one is my reigning favorite. I feel like I’m viewing a new field with two trusted guides who help me gain the proper focus.
20 people found this helpful
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Ed
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Painstakingly Thorough, Dense and Illuminating.
Reviewed in the United States on October 30, 2009
I get the feeling that many dissatisfied reviewers were unaware of the philosophical density of this book. This is clearly not for the casual reader, although anyone can gain insight from this book, especially if you read it along side of a few other translations. Folks,... See more
I get the feeling that many dissatisfied reviewers were unaware of the philosophical density of this book. This is clearly not for the casual reader, although anyone can gain insight from this book, especially if you read it along side of a few other translations. Folks, this is DENSE. There. You''ve been forewarned.

To the best of my knowledge, this is the foremost philosophically sound translation of the Dao Dejing. Some of the translations remind me a bit of D. C. Lao, but Ames and Hall do a far better job at unpacking the richness of the text. I think one of the greatest strengths of this book is the first portion where they explain their methodology. If you don''t feel a translator should go into this detail, you probably would have been better off with another translation.

As mentioned, the depth of insight of Ames and Hall is really quite remarkable. I encourage the casual reader to read this along side his or her favorite translation. Then, note how they differ and how they are similar. I think this will both broaden and deepen your understanding of the DDJ quite a bit.

Overall, the thorough nature of this book is astonishing. If you are looking for a quick and breezy take on the DDJ, you may want to look elsewhere as this translation will probably appeal more to professional students and scholars of Chinese philosophy.
13 people found this helpful
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Susan L.
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Too academic
Reviewed in the United States on January 27, 2019
I''m very disappointed by this book. The commentary is very academic, so much so that I do not understand it, and I have an IQ of 136. I have to look up the definition of MANY of the words these authors use. I cannot even understand them within the context. This book was not... See more
I''m very disappointed by this book. The commentary is very academic, so much so that I do not understand it, and I have an IQ of 136. I have to look up the definition of MANY of the words these authors use. I cannot even understand them within the context. This book was not written for the lay person, but for a scholar. I recommend downloading a sample in Kindle prior to purchasing.
One person found this helpful
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Shatril Sandmann
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I had the book, but needed something to do while driving
Reviewed in the United States on July 7, 2019
This is one of those philosophies that just turn you on your head. I have found so much useful and enlightening concepts in this translation, I had read other less erudite translations without the good explanations for the way it was translated. Loved this one.
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Rev. Paul Fohlin
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
a very fine answer to understanding chinese civilization and modern living
Reviewed in the United States on April 19, 2019
This book is perspective changing and allows a reader to see beyond Western prejudiced perspectives into the powerful freedom of early Daoism, Confucian, Ch''an and Zen living. The author has found a way for the Western reader to experience the riches of Chinese... See more
This book is perspective changing and allows a reader to see beyond Western prejudiced perspectives into the powerful freedom of early Daoism, Confucian, Ch''an and Zen living. The author has found a way for the Western reader to experience the riches of Chinese Civilization.
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N. pearson
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
but the commentary is very good as is the introduction
Reviewed in the United States on November 24, 2016
Very interesting new take on the Dao De Jing by a classical Chinese expert and a philosopher. I find the translation rather awkward compared to others which try to convey the succinctness of the original Chinese, but the commentary is very good as is the introduction. For... See more
Very interesting new take on the Dao De Jing by a classical Chinese expert and a philosopher. I find the translation rather awkward compared to others which try to convey the succinctness of the original Chinese, but the commentary is very good as is the introduction. For anyone who loves the Dao De Jing and still has questions about its meanings, this book is must reading.
4 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Big Rich
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
This is the way to understand way finding...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 5, 2016
Heavy going but well worth it. I have been reliably informed by a western Taiji master (who studies in China) that this is one of the best translations of the text. I also found the detailed introduction, which sets the cultural context, most enlightening.
Heavy going but well worth it. I have been reliably informed by a western Taiji master (who studies in China) that this is one of the best translations of the text. I also found the detailed introduction, which sets the cultural context, most enlightening.
5 people found this helpful
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edge
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A must read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 14, 2018
Great book, very thought provoking
Great book, very thought provoking
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 18, 2017
Wonderful publication, service and quality.
Wonderful publication, service and quality.
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ann clarvis
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Book as described and delivered when expected.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 7, 2017
Great price and good service.
Great price and good service.
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creusa
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Ottima edizione di un classico
Reviewed in Italy on February 7, 2016
Per chi cerca una spiegazione chiara e ben scritta di questa opera fondamentale, questa è l''edizione migliore. L''introduzione spiega i termini-chiave usati in modo ricorrenti nel testo. Poi c''è il testo cinese, con rimandi a note filologiche e varianti, e la traduzione,...See more
Per chi cerca una spiegazione chiara e ben scritta di questa opera fondamentale, questa è l''edizione migliore. L''introduzione spiega i termini-chiave usati in modo ricorrenti nel testo. Poi c''è il testo cinese, con rimandi a note filologiche e varianti, e la traduzione, capitolo per capitolo. Subito dopo la spiegazione di ogni aforisma. Utile e ben fatta.
Per chi cerca una spiegazione chiara e ben scritta di questa opera fondamentale, questa è l''edizione migliore. L''introduzione spiega i termini-chiave usati in modo ricorrenti nel testo. Poi c''è il testo cinese, con rimandi a note filologiche e varianti, e la traduzione, capitolo per capitolo. Subito dopo la spiegazione di ogni aforisma. Utile e ben fatta.
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Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale

Dao popular De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (English online sale and Mandarin Chinese Edition) online sale