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« Daoism as Soft Power? | Main | Yan Xuetong, History and Philosophy »

October 27, 2011


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Hi Sam. I agree with you, and would add this passage from Mencius 2B8 as a footnote:

The people of Qi smote [the state of] Yan. Some one asked Mencius, saying, 'Is it really the case that you advised Qi to smite Yan?'
He replied, 'No. Shen Tong asked me whether Yan might be smitten, and I answered him, "It may." They accordingly went and smote it. If he had asked me, "Who may smite it?" I would have answered him, "He who is the minister of Heaven may smite it." Suppose the case of a murderer, and that one asks me, "May this man be put to death?" I will answer him, "He may." If he ask me, "Who may put him to death?" I will answer him, "The chief criminal judge may put him to death." But now with one Yan to smite another Yan - how should I have advised this?'

(Legge's translation, from the Chinese Text Project: )

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