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

By François Jullien

Trans. by means of Janet Lloyd

In this hugely insightful research of Western and chinese language ideas of efficacy, François Jullien subtly delves into the metaphysical preconceptions of the 2 civilizations to account for diverging styles of motion in war, politics, and international relations. He exhibits how Western and chinese language ideas paintings in different domain names (the battlefield, for instance) and analyzes ensuing acts of struggle. The chinese language strategist manipulates his personal troops and the enemy to win a conflict with no waging warfare and to lead to victory without problems. 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 really good interpretations of an array of recondite texts are key to figuring out our personal conceptions of motion, time, and truth during this foray into the realm of chinese language inspiration. In its transparent and penetrating characterization of 2 contrasting perspectives of fact from a heretofore unexplored viewpoint, A Treatise on Efficacy can be of significant significance within the highbrow debate among East and West.

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Sample text

So there is only one single way of looking at things," Clausewitz concludes. " In fact, it is at this point that Clausewitz' thought is at its most subtle-but, at the same time, it is possible that it overspills its framework and becomes endangered. For if the mere possibility of an engagement is taken into account, even a hypothetical engagement may have a cru· cial effect on the sequence of operations. In the last analy· sis, even if the engagement never takes place, its conse­ quences, which are what is taken into considtration, are certainly real.

This will enable him to assess which factors are favorable to each of the two camps, for these are the factors from which victory will stem. "'In The Art of War, Machiavelli makes the same observation: "Oth­ er generals impose upon their soldiers the necessity to fight by leav­ ing them no hope of salvation save through victory. This is the most powerful and sure way to render soldiers determined in combat" (IV) . The reverse is equally true: "One must never force the enemy into desperation; that is a rule that Caesar observed in a battle against the Germans.

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. circumstances create potential From an evaluation of the factors to the pos­ sibility of exploiting them reality), and one accedes to a logic of unfolding: one allows the implied effect to develop by itself, by virtue of the process that has been set off.

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