Mencius (4th century BC)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-G047-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved August 18, 2019, from

List of works

  • Mencius (c. 300) Mengzi, trans. D.C. Lau, Mencius, New York: Penguin Books, 1970; trans. J. Legge, The Works of Mencius, New York: Dover Publications, 1970.

    (Lau is a good contemporary translation, with helpful appendices. Legge is a reprint of the 1895 translation, including the Chinese text and explanatory notes.)

References and further reading

  • Graham, A.C. (1990) ‘The Background of the Mencian Theory of Human Nature’, in A.C. Graham, Studies in Chinese Philosophy and Philosophical Literature, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 7–66.

    (Detailed philological study of some key terms in early Chinese thought.)

  • Ivanhoe, P.J. (1990) Ethics in the Confucian Tradition: The Thought of Mencius and Wang Yang-ming, Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press.

    (A good general introduction to the thought of Mencius, emphasizing his differences from his later interpreters.)

  • Lau, D.C. (1970) ‘On Mencius’ Use of the Method of Analogy in Argument’, Mencius, New York: Penguin Books: 235–263.

    (Explains some of the more puzzling passages in Book 6 of the Mengzi.)

  • Nivison, D.S. (1996) ‘Motivation and Moral Action in Mencius’ and ‘Two Roots or One?’, in B.W. Van Norden (ed.) The Ways of Confucianism, La Salle, IL: Open Court, 91–119 and 133–148.

    (Analyses of Mengzi 1A7 and 3A5, respectively.)

  • Shun, K.L. (1991) ‘Mencius and the Mind-lnherence of Morality: Mencius’ Rejection of Kao Tzu’s Maxim in Meng Tzu 2A:2’, Journal of Chinese Philosophy 18 (4): 371–386.

    (A careful analytic study.)

  • Van Norden, B.W. (1996) ‘What Should Western Philosophy Learn from Chinese Philosophy?’, in P.J. Ivanhoe (ed.) Chinese Language, Thought and Culture: Nivison and His Critics, La Salle, IL: Open Court.

    (Presents an overview of the literature on early Confucianism.)

  • Yearley, L.H. (1990) Mencius and Aquinas: Theories of Virtue and Conceptions of Courage, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

    (An excellent comparative study of Mencian and Thomistic treatments of the virtues.)

Citing this article:
Van Norden, Bryan W.. Bibliography. Mencius (4th century BC), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-G047-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2019 Routledge.

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