Download A Treatise on Efficacy: Between Western and Chinese Thinking by François Jullien PDF

By François Jullien

Trans. via Janet Lloyd

In this hugely insightful research of Western and chinese language recommendations of efficacy, François Jullien subtly delves into the metaphysical preconceptions of the 2 civilizations to account for diverging styles of motion in conflict, politics, and international relations. He exhibits how Western and chinese language techniques paintings in different domain names (the battlefield, for instance) and analyzes ensuing acts of warfare. The chinese language strategist manipulates his personal troops and the enemy to win a conflict with no waging warfare and to result in victory easily. Efficacity in China is therefore conceived of by way of transformation (as against motion) and manipulation, making it toward what's understood as efficacy within the West.

Jullien’s very good interpretations of an array of recondite texts are key to knowing our personal conceptions of motion, time, and truth during this foray into the realm of chinese language idea. In its transparent and penetrating characterization of 2 contrasting perspectives of truth from a heretofore unexplored standpoint, A Treatise on Efficacy may be of relevant value within the highbrow debate among East and West.

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Extra resources for A Treatise on Efficacy: Between Western and Chinese Thinking

Example text

Understood in this fashion, cir­ cumstances are no longer something unpredictable that will turn out in a particular way, always threatening to ruin any plan imposed upon them. Instead, thanks pre­ cisely to their variability, circumstances can progressively be turned to advantage by the propensity emanating from the situation. In this way, one escapes from a logic of model-making (where a model-plan is brought to bear) and also from the task of producing an embodiment (making a project or idea become a concrete temporal The system of evaluation 21 22 Treatise on Efficacy Circumstances are no longer "that which surrounds" Far from destroying a plan.

Means-end: at one end, and already more or less to hand, a wide range of resources in the shape of tools and markers; at the other end, far away on the horizon, some­ thing that is at once an end and a goal (telos), to which we unswervingly march, with our eyes fixed upon it. getting us to make an effort, and at the same time holds out a promise. The opposition is so well established and has become so convenient that it eludes our thought (our thinking takes it as its starting point, but we do not think about it).

So the "war plan" itself is arrived at quite simply by working backward along the chain. " In comparison to Charles XII, or even Napoleon, he proves himself to be the best general of all, the one who was most successful precisely because he was economical. " What Clausewitz here tentatively recommends as a recipe for efficacy might be verifiable from an opposite and retrospective point of view when, instead of conduct­ ing warfare, it is a matter of learning from the wars of the past. In the military domain, a "critique" consists simply in "testing out the means employed " in order to evaluate them.

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