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The Ambivalence of Creation


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Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Domesticating the landscape: notions of ancestors and innovation in the Bronze Age 2. The craft of humanity: debates over nature and culture in warring states China 3. Sages, ministers, and rebels: narratives of the emergence of the state 4. The creation of empire: the emergence and consolidation of imperial rule in China 5. The tragedy of creation: Sima Qian's reconstruction of the rise of empire in early China Conclusion Appendix Notes Bibliography Index.

About the Author

Michael J. Puett is John L. Loeb Associate Professor of Humanities at Harvard University.


"Puett's brilliant textual, intertextual, and contextual analysis allows him to discern heretofore largely neglected aspects and nuances of intellectual controversies and their impanct on early imperial thought... The Ambivalence of Creation is a welcome addition to the field of ancient Chinese thought and culture, as well as mythology, historiography, and literature." - The Journal of American Studies "Lucid, cogent, and stimulating, it should make an instructive and delightful read for anyone who is interested in Chinese philosophy, religion, and history." - Zhou Yiqun, University of Chicago "...a clearly written, well-argued, and important book [that] performs a valuable service to the field by problematizing deeply entrenched assumptions about early Chinese thought." - Journal of Chinese Philosophy

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