What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good LifeeBook - 2016
Why is a course on ancient Chinese philosophers one of the most popular at Harvard? Because it challenges all our modern assumptions about what it takes to flourish.
Astonishing teachings emerged two thousand years ago through the work of a succession of Chinese scholars exploring how humans can improve themselves and their society. And what are these counterintuitive ideas? Transformation comes not from looking within for a true self, but from creating conditions that produce new possibilities. Good relationships come not from being sincere and authentic, but from the rituals we perform within them. A good life emerges not from planning it out, but through training ourselves to respond well to small moments. Influence comes not from wielding power but from holding back. Excellence comes from what we choose to do, not our natural abilities.
In other words, The Path "opens the mind" ( Huffington Post ) and upends everything we are told about how to lead a good life. Its most radical idea is that there is no path to follow in the first place--just a journey we create anew at every moment by seeing and doing things differently. "With its...spirited, convincing vision, revolutionary new insights can be gleaned from this book on how to approach life's multifarious situations with both heart and head" ( Kirkus Reviews ).
A note from the publisher: To read relevant passages from the original works of Chinese philosophy, see our ebook Confucius, Mencius, Laozi, Zhuangzi, Xunzi: Selected Passages , available wherever books are sold.
From Library Staff
This book on Chinese philosophy might seem an arcane subject but Harvard professor Puett does a great job making it relevant to life in this day and age. Some of the ancient Chinese authors discussed here were contemporaries of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle in the West. What they came up with as ... Read More »
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