Download e-book for iPad: Ancient China on Postmodern War: Enduring Ideas from the by Thomas M. Kane

By Thomas M. Kane

ISBN-10: 0415384796

ISBN-13: 9780415384797

Solar Tzu and different classical chinese language strategic thinkers wrote in an period of social, financial and armed forces revolution, and was hoping to spot enduring ideas of conflict and statecraft. The twenty-first century is a time of equally progressive swap, and this makes their rules of specific relevance for today’s strategic atmosphere. putting those theories in old context, Dr Kane explores old chinese language reactions to such concerns as advances in army know-how and insurgency and terrorism, delivering attention-grabbing comparisons among glossy and old. The ebook explains the way in which popular chinese language thinkers - comparable to solar Tzu, Han Fei Tzu and Lao Tzu - handled serious strategic questions. It additionally compares their rules to these of thinkers from different occasions and civilizations (e.g. Clausewitz) to light up quite small print. In concluding, the ebook addresses the query of the way historical chinese language rules may possibly tell modern strategic debates. historical China on Postmodern struggle could be of a lot curiosity to scholars of strategic stories, chinese language philosophy and armed forces background

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Still, the Chinese language has changed over the past two millennia, and Dr Dai cannot claim that his readings are definitive either. The author does, however, maintain that his method of comparing multiple works in historical context will improve readers’ chances of understanding subtle passages accurately. Ancient Chinese writers frequently and deliberately allude to one another’s work. Therefore, a work that compares the way in which different thinkers treated similar concepts may help readers approximate what those concepts meant through a process of triangulation (Zhuge 1989: 3).

One notes that this ruler’s ideas echo portions of what Chapter 1 of this book described as the ancient philosophical system of thought. The lord of Liu said, ‘I have heard it said that men at their birth receive the exact principles of heaven and earth, and this is what is called their nature. From that we have the patterns for action, ceremony and deportment, so as to establish this nature. The able nurture these so as to secure good fortune, while those without ability contravene them and earn misfortune …’.

Physics, biology, and other predictable factors affect warfare, but the significance of their effects depends entirely upon the context in which the war is fought. Therefore, the historical details that Handel seeks to avoid are the only possible building blocks for an intelligent strategy. One can study these details, 22 Introduction but no one can fully explain how they will interact in any real situation. This is not merely an acknowledgement of human limits, it is a certainty. The things that affect war also affect each other, and it is mathematically impossible to predict the behaviour of multiple, mutually interacting factors (Watts 1996: 111–13).

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Ancient China on Postmodern War: Enduring Ideas from the Chinese Strategic Tradition by Thomas M. Kane


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