The Essential Mòzǐ: Ethical, Political, and Dialectical Writings

ISBN : 9780198848103

Mo Zi; Chris Fraser
320 Pages
129 x 196 mm
Pub date
Jun 2020
Oxford World's Classics
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  • An Introduction which provides a clear, concise overview of Mohist thought and guidelines for getting started with the text.
  • Informed by recent philosophical research, the translation is compact and accessible while accurately reflecting the meaning, terminology, and style of the original.
  • An extensive glossary explicating key philosophical and historical terms.
  • A timeline of the rise and fall of the Mohist movement and maps illustrating the world of Warring States China in which the Mohists lived.

'The task of the benevolent person is surely to diligently seek to promote the benefit of the world and eliminate harm to the world'
The Mòzǐ is among the founding texts of the Chinese philosophical tradition, presenting China's earliest ethical, political, and logical theories. The collected works introduce concepts, assumptions, and issues that had a profound, lasting influence throughout the classical and early imperial eras. Mòzǐ and his followers developed the world's first ethical theory, and presented China's first account of the origin of political authority. They were prominent social activists whose moral and political reform movement sought to improve the welfare of the common people and eliminate elite extravagance and misuse of power.
In this new translation, Chris Fraser focuses on the philosophical aspects of the writing and allows readers to truly enter the Mohists' world of thought. This abridged edition includes the essential political and social topics of concern to this vital movement. Informed by traditional and recent scholarship, the translation presents the Mohists' ideas and arguments clearly, precisely, and coherently, while accurately reflecting the meaning, terminology, and style of the original.


Note on the Translation
Select Bibliography
Part I: Miscellaneous Essays
Book 4: Models and Standards
Book 5: Seven Worries
Book 6: Avoiding Excess
Book 7: Three Disputations
Part II: The Triads
Books 8-10: Promoting the Worthy
Books 11-13: Identifying Upward
Books 14-16: Inclusive Care
Books 17-19: Condemning Aggression
Books 20-21: Moderation in Use
Book 25: Moderation in Burial
Books 26-28: Heaven's Intent
Book 31: Understanding Ghosts
Book 32: Condemning Music
Books 35-37: Condemning Fatalism
Part III: Condemning the Erudites
Book 39: Condemning the Erudites
Part IV: The Dialectics
Books 40-43: The Canons and Explanations
Book 44: The Greater Selection
Book 45: The Lesser Selection
Part V: The Dialogues
Book 46: Geng Zhù
Book 47: Valuing Righteousness
Book 48: Gong Mèng
Book 49: The Questions of Lu
Book 50: Gongshu
Explanatory Notes
Appendix: The Chronology of the Triads

About the author: 

Mo Zi
Chris Fraser, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Hong Kong
Chris Fraser is Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Hong Kong. He is the author of The Philosophy of the Mozi (Columbia, 2016), Late Classical Chinese Thought (Oxford, forthcoming), and many dozen research articles on early Chinese ethics, epistemology, philosophy of language and logic, and philosophy of mind and action. His work can be accessed at cjfraser.net

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