A Treatise on Efficacy: Between Western and Chinese Thinking by François Jullien PDF

By François Jullien

ISBN-10: 0824828305

ISBN-13: 9780824828301

Trans. by way of Janet Lloyd

In this hugely insightful research of Western and chinese language strategies of efficacy, François Jullien subtly delves into the metaphysical preconceptions of the 2 civilizations to account for diverging styles of motion in war, politics, and international relations. He indicates how Western and chinese language innovations paintings in different domain names (the battlefield, for instance) and analyzes ensuing acts of warfare. The chinese language strategist manipulates his personal troops and the enemy to win a conflict with no waging warfare and to lead to victory easily. Efficacity in China is hence conceived of by way of transformation (as against motion) and manipulation, making it toward what's understood as efficacy within the West.

Jullien’s very good interpretations of an array of recondite texts are key to realizing our personal conceptions of motion, time, and fact during this foray into the area of chinese language suggestion. In its transparent and penetrating characterization of 2 contrasting perspectives of fact from a heretofore unexplored point of view, A Treatise on Efficacy should be of primary significance within the highbrow debate among East and West.

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Example text

At the same time, these defenders of authoritarianism (who, by the same token, were also the inventors of totalitarian­ ism) understood full well that the basic essence of the power that one exercises over others depends on the knowledge about them that one acquires by forcing trans­ parency upon their lives: the less one can conceal, the more docile one must be. An all-seeing eye has a paralyz­ ing effect. A punctilious system'is set up for "dissociating" opin­ ions (which makes it possible to challenge them individu­ ally) and combined with a "solidarization" of individuals (which makes them collectively responsible and encour­ ages them to denounce one another) (HFZ, chap.

4. On which side are orders obeyed more punctili­ ously? 5. Which side is the better armed? 6. Which side has the better-trained officers and men? 7. ). " From this antag­ onistic situation, as evaluated by that series �o( questions, by viewing it from every possible angle, he wiJl'discover a particular potential and will only need to exploit it. This passage, moving from an assessment of the forces in confrontation to the potential that can be deduced from that assessment, is of central importance.

What Western strategy merely notes in passing, Chinese thinkers try to interpret and use as food for thought. Relying on the Propensity ofThings The first of the ancient treatises that we are consider­ thus starts off with a systematic description of the way ing in which this preliminary (and, as such, indispensable; SZ, chap. 1, "Ji") evaluation must be conducted. It should be based on five criteria-morale, meteorological conditions (the "heavens"), topographical conditions (the "earth"), those in command, and the system of organization-and it should pose a definite set of questions (1.

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A Treatise on Efficacy: Between Western and Chinese Thinking by François Jullien

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