The Classic of Way and her Power: a Miscellany? (Paperback)
The Classic of Way and her power: a Miscellany? is a study of the profound and influential philosophical writing from early China, traditionally attributed to Lao-zi, the first Daoist thinker. This study provides a translation of the work, but concentrates on analysis. It offers an interpretation of why the traditional work appears to lack order, suggesting that it began as a set of twenty-five philosophical poems by Lao-zi, tightly arranged according to an unusual and unmarked principle of order, and then was added to by later figures in the Daoist tradition who obscured the original order by inserting their passages here and there in the extant text according to a quite different principle of order. Some of these later contributions are in keeping with Lao-zi's thought and style, while others are at odds in form (prose) and content (shallow) with his poems and their profound insights. This study also offers a commentary by the author, a philosopher, who seeks especially to bring out Lao-zi's unique insights and to distinguish them from the thoughts being expressed by others in the remainder of the traditional work.
Richard Gotshalk is a retired professor who taught for twenty years at the Pennsylvania State University, and for thirteen years at the University of Montana (Missoula). Born and raised in Illinois, educated at Harvard and Northwestern universities, honored for distinguished teaching in the humanities at Penn State, he has published ten books in all. A philosopher in his own right, he is also a student of the history of philosophy. Three of his books concern the beginnings of philosophy in India, China, and Greece.