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Philosophy of Peace in Han China by Ryden, E.

Philosophy of Peace in Han China by Ryden, E.

This monograph is a study and translation into English of Chapter XV of the Huainanzi, on military strategy. There is also included a translation of the Letter of Liu An, Prince of Huainan, to the Emperor regarding war on China’s border region of Min-Yue. Variétés Sinologiques No.88, 1998, 181 pages.

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US$14.00 tax incl.

ISBN:957-9185-59-X


This monograph is a study and translation into English of Chapter XV of the Huainanzi, on military strategy. There is also included a translation of the Letter of Liu An, Prince of Huainan, to the Emperor regarding war on China’s border region of Min-Yue. On Military Strategy provides a comprehensive summary of Warring States military literature. Hence through this one window we may obtain a complete grasp of ancient Chinese philosophy of war and peace. Aside from the study of the text itself and its relationship to pre-Qin military literature, the monograph undertakes a comparison with modern Western philosophies of peace. It emerges that both Chinese and Western sources advocate that the legitimate use of the army is to remove evil and prevent tyranny. Under certain conditions it is permissible to intervene in the affairs of another state. The norms governing such military intervention set out by On Military Strategy have much in common with those that govern the use of military force by the United Nations today. Since force is permitted we are not here dealing with a pacificist philosophy but rather with a philosophy of peace which is of immense value today.

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