Access to the full content is only available to members of institutions that have purchased access. If you belong to such an institution, please log in or find out more about how to order.



DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-G054-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved March 17, 2018, from

Article Summary

Sunzi: The Art of Warfare (or Sunzi bingfa), a text traditionally ascribed to Sun Wu, a contemporary of Confucius, is the most widely read military classic in human history. Although it provides counsel on military strategy and tactics, it is fundamentally a philosophical text, reflecting a way of thinking and living that is distinctively Chinese. The received text has thirteen ‘core’ chapters, but in 1972 an additional six chapters of the original eighty-two-chapter text was recovered from a Han dynasty tomb. In the same tomb, a text called Sun Bin (or Sun Bin bingfa), ascribed to a later descendent of Sun Wu, was also recovered. This work elaborates on the substance of the Sunzi’s military philosophy.

Citing this article:
Ames, Roger T.. Sunzi, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-G054-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2018 Routledge.

Related Searches


Related Articles