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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 exhibits how Western and chinese language innovations paintings in numerous domain names (the battlefield, for instance) and analyzes ensuing acts of conflict. The chinese language strategist manipulates his personal troops and the enemy to win a conflict with out waging struggle and to lead to victory without problems. Efficacity in China is therefore conceived of when it comes to transformation (as against motion) and manipulation, making it toward what's understood as efficacy within the West.

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

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Example text

Victory is predetermined and cannot swing off course, because it is implied in the relation of the forces present even before the battle is joined. " The max­ im may seem paradoxical, but it is not; it simply projects onto the opposed behavior of the two sides the breaking point that is bound to come in the evolution of the antag­ onistic relationship from which success is bound to stem. Troops who seek victory only when they begin to fight are defeated in advance. For, as will by now be clear, the bat­ tle itself is merely a result.

Throne as the source of absolute power. It did not do this, as happened else­ where or was recommended by others in China (the Con­ fucians), by invoking any kind of transcendence, in the name of any divine power, or in the name of any political contract reached between individuals in order to provide a basis for civil order. Instead, it did it solely in the name of efficacy: simply by reason of its higher position, the place occupied by the ruler emanated sufficient power to ensure that order reigned throughout the whole empire.

Two criteria are possible: on the one hand, personal merit; on the other, the occupation of this position of authority. And in the legalists' view, the one excludes the other (HFZ, chap. 40, "Nan shi"). 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.

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