snatches of tales and scraps of evidence." Instead, "histories are consciously worked creations" (p. 86). In contrast to Nylan's sensitivity to historical constructions of Kongzi, the ambiguity of his teachings, and the variety of lessons that can be derived from them, Wilson hews closer to the tradition and employs more conventional readings of the same canonical sources. Consequently, he draws a very different conclusion that "the consistency of the Master's views again serves to affirm the image of a singular Confucius speaking throughout multiple canonical sources" (p. 112). Of course, such disagreement can be unsettling to those who are looking for a consistent presentation of the subject. However, the disparity does serve to enact the overall thesis of this book, favoring the variety and diversity of possible accounts rather than a singular and authoritarian narrative. For those who have observed history's many Kongzis, the authors' divergences may inspire further development in understanding the variety of possibilities Kongzi presents in contemporary scholarship of Kongzi. This co-authored book also combines two kinds of distinctively styled scholarship. One finds well-rounded arguments and masterly crafted narratives in Nylan's chapters, although specialists may desire more and clearer references to the sources for Nylan's
Philosophy East and West – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Aug 3, 2012
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