Four Warring States texts discovered during recent decades challenge longstanding understandings of Chinese intellectual history. The discovery of previously unknown philosophical texts from the Axial Age is revolutionizing our understanding of Chinese intellectual history. Buried Ideas presents and discusses four texts found on brush-written slips of bamboo and their seemingly unprecedented political philosophy. Written in the regional script of Chu during the Warring States period (475–221 BCE), all of the works discuss Yao’s abdication to Shun and are related to but differ significantly from the core texts of the classical period, such as the Mencius and Zhuangzi. Notably, these works evince an unusually meritocratic stance, and two even advocate abdication over hereditary succession as a political ideal. Sarah Allan includes full English translations and her own modern-character editions of the four works examined: Tang Yú zhi dao 唐虞之道, Zi Gao 子羔, Rongchengshi 容成氏, and Bao xun 保訓. In addition, she provides an introduction to Chu-script bamboo-slip manuscripts and the complex issues inherent in deciphering them.
Table of Contents:
History and historical legend
The Chu-script bamboo-slip manuscripts
Advocating abdication : Tang Yú Zhi Dao, "The way of Tang Yao and Yú Shun"
Tang Yú Zhi Dao : translation and Chinese edition
The Zigao and the nature of early Confucianism
Zigao : translation and Chinese edition
Rongchengshi : abdication and utopian vision
Rongchengshi : translation and Chinese edition
The Bao Xun : obtaining the center to become king
Bao Xun : translation and Chinese edition