Xunzi asserted that the original nature of man is evil, differing on this point from Mencius, his famous predecessor in the Confucian school. In the most complete, well-ordered philosophical system of his day, Xunzi advocated the counteraction of man's evil through self-improvement, the pursuit of learning, the avoidance of obsession, and observance of ritual in life. Readers familiar with Xunzi's work will find that Burton Watson's lucid translation breathes new life into this classic. Those new to Xunzi will find his ideas on government, language, and order and safety in society surprisingly close to concerns of our own age.
About the Author
Burton Watson is one of the world's best-known translators from the Chinese and Japanese. He received the PEN translation prize in 1981. His translations include The Lotus Sutra, The Vimalakirti Sutra, Ryokan: Zen Monk-Poet of Japan, Saigyo: Poems of a Mountain Home, and The Columbia Book of Chinese Poetry: From Early Times to the Thirteenth Century, all published by Columbia. This book presents Watson's renowned translation of a Chinese philosophy classic in pinyin romanization for the first time.