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Chinese Literature
Xinlun 新論 "New Discussions"

The Xinlun 新論 "New Discussions", also called Huanzi xinlun 桓子新論, is a political and philosophical tractate written by the early Later Han period 後漢 (25-220) scholar Huan Tan 桓譚. According to ancient bibliographies the original book was 17 juan "scrolls" long. During the late Tang period 唐 (618-907) it was lost, and the 16 chapters (probably as much as 29) had to be reconstruced from quotations in other books.
Huan Tan stressed that the emperor had to concentrate as much power as possible in his hands. He had to rely on able advisors and to express his benevolence to the people. Rules and regulations had to be made clear, and the administrative corps of state officials had to be instructed and to be guided by rewards and punishment. This standpoint in state philosophy is quite legalistic and shows that the drive for a strong central government prevailed over a Confucian concept at that time. In the field philosophy of thought Huan Tan discarded the very popular apocryphal writings (chenwei 讖緯) and criticised the practice of magic. In this respect Huan Tan had some influence on Wang Chong 王充 and his book Lunheng 論衡, as well as philosophers like Yang Quan 楊泉 and Fan Zhen 范縝. Huan Tan also explored the field of metaphysics where he brought forward that spirit (jingshen 精神) can not be without a body (xingti 形體).
The most important editions of the Xinlun are those by the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholars Yan Kejun 嚴可均 and Sun Fengyi 孫馮翼. In 1977 the Shanghai renmin press 上海人民出版社 republished a modern edition of the Yan edition.

Source: Chen Jinsheng 陳金生 (1987). "Xinlun 新論", in: Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhexue 哲學, vol. 2, p. 1020. Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe.

1. 本造 Benzao
2. 王霸 Wangba
3. 求輔 Qiufu
4. 言體 Yanti
5. 見徵 Jianzheng
6. 譴非 Qianfei
7. 啟寤 Qiwu
8. 祛蔽 Qubi
9. 正經 Zhengjing
10. 識通 Shitong
11. 離事 Lishi
12. 道賦 Daofu
13. 辨惑 Bianhuo
14. 述策 Shuce
15. 閔友 Minyou
Chinese literature according to the four-category system

November 15, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail