, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 15–34 | Cite as

“Benevolence-Righteousness” as Strategic Terminology: Reading Mengzi’s “Ren-Yi” through Strategic Manuals

  • Ting-mien LeeEmail author


This essay offers an experimental interpretation for Mengzi’s 孟子 ren-yi 仁義 discourses, reading them as strategic prescriptions akin to those presented in classical strategic manuals. However, rather than arguing that it is the correct interpretation of Mengzi, I use it to highlight the ambiguity of Mengzi’s discourses. This ambiguity, I argue, motivated Zhuangzi’s 莊子 criticisms of moral language abuse and rationalizes some early narratives about Mengzi.


Mengzi 孟子 Zhuangzi 莊子 Strategic manuals Ren-Yi 仁義 


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyTunghai UniversityTaichungTaiwan

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