The Zhongyong - translated here as Focusing the Familiar has been regarded as a document of ermous wisdom for more than two millennia and is one of Confucianism's most sacred and seminal texts. It achieved truly canical preeminence when it became one of the Four Books compiled and antated by the Southern Song dynasty philosopher Zhu Xi (1130-1200). Within the compass of world literature, the influence of these books (Analects of Confucius, Great Learning, Zhongyong, and Mencius) on the Sinitic world of East Asia has been less than the Bible and the Qu'ran on Western civilization. With this translation David Hall and Roger Ames seek to provide a distinctly philosophical interpretation of the Zhongyong, remaining attentive to the semantic and conceptual nuances of the text to account for its central place within classical Chinese literature. They present the text in such a way as to provide Western philosophers and other intellectuals access to a set of interpretations and arguments that offer insights into issues and concerns common to both Chinese and Western thinkers.
Roger T. Ames (Editor, Translator) Roger T. Ames is professor of philosophy at the University of Hawai i and editor of Philosophy East and West.