Recently discovered ancient silk and bamboo manuscripts have transformed our understanding of classical Chinese thought. In this book, Wang Zhongjiang closely examines these texts and, by parsing the complex divergence between ancient and modern Chinese records, reveals early Chinese philosophy to be much richer and more complex than we ever imagined. As numerous and varied cosmologies sprang up in this cradle of civilization, beliefs in the predictable movements of nature merged with faith in gods and their divine punishments. Slowly, powerful spirits and gods were stripped of their potency as nature's constant order awakened people to the possibility of universal laws, and those laws finally gave birth to an ideally conceived community, objectively managed and rationally ordered.
Zhongjiang Wang is Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Peking University, China. His research focuses on Chinese philosophy. He is the author of Civilization of Bamboo-Silk and the Word of Ancient Thought (in Chinese). Misha Tadd is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Peking University Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies under Tu Weiming. He studies Han dynasty Daoism.