Bryan W. Van Norden. Hui Shi is a fascinating figure but frustrating to study because w e must guess what his arguments w ere. We are in a much better position with the next major figure in the “School of Names,” Gongsun Long.
This book is an introduction in the very best sense of the word. It provides the beginner with an accurate, sophisticated, yet accessible account, and offers new insights and challenging perspectives to those who have more specialized knowledge. Focusing on the period in Chinese philosophy that is surely most easily approachable and perhaps is most important, it ranges over of rich set of competing options. It also, with admirable self-consciousness, presents a number of daring attempts to relate those options to philosophical figures and movements from the West. I recommend it very highly. --Lee H. Yearley, Walter Y. Evans-Wentz Professor, Religious Studies, Stanford University --- A substantial and highly accessible introduction to the indigenous philosophies of China. Van Norden shares his clear distillations of classical Chinese philosophies using conceptual frameworks many will find familiar. This reader-friendly book sets the historical and cultural contexts for the philosophies discussed, and includes appendices, study questions, and imaginative scenarios, which aid us in appreciating some of the most important philosophy ever developed. --Ann Pirruccello, Professor of Philosophy, University of San Diego --- This lucid introduction to early Chinese thought offers historical, textual and conceptual analyses of the schools of Classical Chinese philosophy, illuminating their basic themes, theories, and arguments and providing readers with an intellectual bridge between Chinese and Western thought. Introductory texts such as this are especially needed today, as the study of philosophy faces the challenges of globalization and the urgent need for dialogue among different philosophical traditions. --- An ideal text for introductory courses, this book will also inspire graduate students, scholars and experts in philosophy in general, and Chinese Philosophy in particular, with its theoretical insights and comparative methodology. --Vincent Shen, Lee Chair in Chinese Thought and Culture, Departments of Philosophy and East Asian Studies, University of Toronto