By François Jullien
Trans. by means of Janet Lloyd
In this hugely insightful research of Western and chinese language thoughts of efficacy, François Jullien subtly delves into the metaphysical preconceptions of the 2 civilizations to account for diverging styles of motion in struggle, politics, and international relations. He exhibits how Western and chinese language techniques 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 no waging struggle and to result in victory without difficulty. 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 amazing interpretations of an array of recondite texts are key to figuring out our personal conceptions of motion, time, and truth during this foray into the realm of chinese language idea. In its transparent and penetrating characterization of 2 contrasting perspectives of fact from a heretofore unexplored point of view, A Treatise on Efficacy might be of imperative 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
The victorious troops, we are told, in the man ner of adage (see also GGZ, chap. "Ben jing," section 4), are like a ton weight compared to· a feather. By accumulat ing potential, the general increases the imbalance, and, when he joins battle, all he needs to do is allow free play to it. In view of all this, there is no longer anything strange 43 The originality of Chinese thought is to have found depth in this truism, to have dug deeper into what may seem self-evident 44 Treatise on Efficacy Ban omens, dismiss all doubts Propensity is crucial in morality as well as in strategy or uncertain about warfare.
The reason the mathematical model cannot be completely applicable to our behavior "in questions of medicine or in money matters," Aristotle tells us (Nic. Ethics, III, 1 1 12b), is that we are faced with several means that are possible but, by that very token, remain conjec tural. " For a mathematician, there is only one solution to a problem. In contrast, peo ple generally find themselves faced with a number of con current possibilities but cannot be certain of the outcome of any of them. Deliberation (concerning means) can nei- Goal or Consequence ther be based on knowledge nor, on the contrary, depend on divination; it can neither be founded on what is neces sarily so, nor can it rely on chance.
That is because all peoples will desire to pass under your authority; they will open their doors to you and will be unable to resist you. Through violence, you will inevitably eventually come to grief, for the power at your disposal is limited and arouses rivalry. In contrast, if you depend on the propensity that stems from your own ascendancy, you will be swept to triumph by others (MZ, I, A, 7). " The whole of Chinese thought about efficacy reverts to a single act: that of "returning" to the fundamental "basis, '" that is to say, the starting point of something that, as a condition, subsequently carried forward by the evolution of things, will gradually impose i�_ sway of its own accord.
A Treatise on Efficacy: Between Western and Chinese Thinking by François Jullien