A comparative study of what the most influential writers of Ancient Greece and China thought it meant to have knowledge and whether they distinguished knowledge from other forms of wisdom. It surveys selected works of poetry, history and philosophy from the period of roughly the eighth through to the second century BCE, including Homer's "Odyssey", the ancient Chinese "Classic of Poetry", Thucydides' "History of the Peloponnesian War", Sima Qian's "Records of the Historian", Plato's "Symposium", and Laozi's "Dao de Jing and the writings of Zhuangzi". The intention, through such juxtaposition, is to introduce the foundational texts of each tradition which continue to influence the majority of the world's population.
Table of Contents
Introduction: previous comparative studies of Ancient Greece and China; the sage; the siren. Part 1 Differentiations of intentionality -the classic of poetry and the Odyssey: poetry and the experience of participation; participation in family and society; participation in the natural world. Part 2 Before and after philosophy - Thucydides and Sima Qian: history and tradition; the structures of written history; the tempest of participation - Sima Qian's portrayal of his own era; Thucydides' tragic quest for objectivity and the historian's irrepressible T. Part 3 The philosopher, the sage and the experience of participation: contexts for the emergence of the sage and the philosopher; from poetry to philosophy; the sage, the philosopher and the recovery of the participatory dimension.
Steven Shankman is a professor at the University of Oregon. Stephen Durrant is a professor at the University of Oregon.