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By François Jullien

Trans. through Janet Lloyd

In this hugely insightful research of Western and chinese language suggestions 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 options paintings in numerous domain names (the battlefield, for instance) and analyzes ensuing acts of battle. The chinese language strategist manipulates his personal troops and the enemy to win a conflict with out waging struggle and to lead to victory easily. Efficacity in China is hence conceived of when it comes to transformation (as against motion) and manipulation, making it in the direction of what's understood as efficacy within the West.

Jullien’s extraordinary interpretations of an array of recondite texts are key to realizing our personal conceptions of motion, time, and fact during this foray into the realm of chinese language idea. In its transparent and penetrating characterization of 2 contrasting perspectives of truth from a heretofore unexplored standpoint, A Treatise on Efficacy should be of valuable value within the highbrow debate among East and West.

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Additional resources for A Treatise on Efficacy: Between Western and Chinese Thinking

Example text

Either you rely on your personal qualities and exhaust yourself in your efforts, in which case the result is always precarious (HFZ, chap. 49, "Wu du"), or else you rely solely on that position of authority, allowing yourself to be "carried" along by it, as a dragon is by the clouds (see Shen Dao), in which case all orders are unfailingly executed (HFZ, chap. 28), in the same unfailing way 'that a cargo carried by a ship is bound to float. . The continuity between the concept of military strate­ gy that has remained traditional in China down to the present day and this particular political concept is easy to see.

The general must start by making a painstaking study of the forces present. This will enable him to assess which factors are favorable to each of the two camps, for these are the factors from which victory will stem. "'In The Art of War, Machiavelli makes the same observation: "Oth­ er generals impose upon their soldiers the necessity to fight by leav­ ing them no hope of salvation save through victory. This is the most powerful and sure way to render soldiers determined in combat" (IV) . The reverse is equally true: "One must never force the enemy into desperation; that is a rule that Caesar observed in a battle against the Germans.

1 1 , "Jiu di"). Not only does he reject omina before a battle, the kind of omens in which the whole of Western Antiquity trusted, but he does not even countenance the kind of doubt that, Clausewitz tells us, invariably assails a gen­ eral when, having drawn up his plan, he launches into action. The whole of this Chinese thought is prompted by a single concept: whatever happens "in any case" "cannot not happen" (once all the conditions are ascertained); in other words, it is "ineluctable" (b;k).

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