Tempe, Arizona: Center for Asian Studies, Arizona State University, 1989. Trade Paperback. Rare. Used - Good/Very Good. Ex-private library (French Centre for Research on Contemporary China). No ex-library stamps or markings. Text block clean and unmarked. Some toning. Binding tight and square. Bibliography. 15 x 23 cm. 195 pp. Item #13578
Monograph Series No. 24
The Qianfulun 潛夫論 "Comments of a Recluse" is a philosophical and political tractate written by the Later Han period 後漢 (25-220 CE) scholar Wang Fu 王符. Wang did not want to climb the ladder of official career but preferred to live a live in retirement as the recluse scholar (qianfu 潛夫), hence the name of his book. The Qianfulun is 36 chapters long which are arranged in 10 juan "scrolls". It criticized much of the common social values of his time. Instead, Wang Fu stressed, the true man had to look for the basics and not for decorations, and he had to live a life of austerity. A ruler had to respect his people and should push down the arbitrariness of local administators. The emperor should select worthy advisors and smash the power of the local magnates and the mighty families. In the sphere of metaphysics Wang Fu believed that a common originary breath (yuanqi 元氣) is penetating all things on earth, including humans.