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The Yellow Emperor's Four Canons by Ryden, E.

The Yellow Emperor's Four Canons by Ryden, E.

A Literary Study and Edition of the Text from Mawangdui. This literary study of the Four Canons puts the emphasis on the primacy of the text itself and aims to show its philosophy in relation to its literary format. Variétés Sinologiques No.85, 1997, 498 pages.

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This literary study puts the emphasis on the primacy of the text itself and aims to show its philosophy in relation to its literary format. Part One of the thesis isolates units within the text by concentrating on the use of binary terminology. By noting passages that use different binary terms, one can identify varying strands of composition. These are each placed in relation to their literary context in so far as it is known from works of the same period. Part Two looks at the process of redaction of each of the four canons and their social context. It shows how disparate essays could be gathered under one cover to serve a common end. The method is that in common use in Biblical studies. A conclusion reviews the notions of "school" and "huang lao" that are current in contemporary discussions of Chinese thought.

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