Identifying and Mapping Issues, Theories, & Research in Asian/American Rhetoric(s): An Annotated Bibliography

Tao Te Ching

Posted in Uncategorized by Jennifer Sano-Franchini on May 7, 2009

Lau, D.C., trans. Tao Te Ching. New York: Penguin, 1964.

This seminal work in Ancient Chinese Philosophy (and rhetoric) has much relevance for the cultural development in all of the East Asian countries. Beautifully poetic in style, Lao Tzu builds a philosophy for “the way,” communication and living that emphasizes namelessness, silence, inaction, and reciprocity. However, these concepts are oftentimes misconstrued under the lens of “the West”.

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Rhetoric in Ancient China, Fifth to Third Century B.C.E.: A Comparison with Classical Greek Rhetoric

Posted in Asian Rhetoric(s) by Jennifer Sano-Franchini on May 7, 2009

Lu, Xing. Rhetoric in Ancient China, Fifth to Third Century B.C.E.: A Comparison with Classical Greek Rhetoric. Charleston: University of South Carolina Press, 1998.

Rhetoric in Ancient China takes a comparative approach to establishing ancient Chinese rhetoric, examining specifically five schools of thought: Mingjia, Confucianism, Daoism, Mohism, and Legalism, alongside historical and sociopolitical contextualization. Lu also identifies seven key Chinese terms pertaining to speech, language, and argumentation: “Indeed, the ancient Chinese appear to have their own well-developed sense of rhetoric, revealed morphologically throughout primary Chinese texts in the following frequently used terms: yan 言 (language, speech); ci 辭 (mode of speech, artistic expression); jian 諫 (advising, persuasion); shui 說 (persuasion)/ shuo 說 (explanation); ming 名(naming); and bian 辯(distinction, disputation, argumentation)” (3).

Lu also deals with the issue and problem of translation, rationalizing that “Translation is considered the core of hermeneutics, as it is only through translation…that the meanings of ancient texts can be deciphered, interpreted, and understood by readers across time and space” (10).