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Yang Chu's Garden of Pleasure

Yang Chu's Garden of Pleasure by Lieh Tzu

Yang Chu's Garden of Pleasure by Lieh Tzu is a fascinating exploration of ancient Chinese philosophy and ethics. The book presents the teachings of Yang Chu, a controversial figure in Chinese history known for his hedonistic beliefs.

Through a series of dialogues and stories, Lieh Tzu delves into Yang Chu's philosophy of living life to the fullest and seeking pleasure in all aspects of existence. The author challenges traditional Confucian values and advocates for individual freedom and happiness above all else.

The writing style is clear and concise, making the complex ideas of Yang Chu easily accessible to readers. Lieh Tzu's interpretations of Yang Chu's teachings are thought-provoking and engaging, offering a fresh perspective on morality and ethics.

Overall, Yang Chu's Garden of Pleasure is a thought-provoking and enlightening read for anyone interested in ancient Chinese philosophy and the pursuit of happiness. It challenges readers to examine their own beliefs and values, and may even inspire a reevaluation of their approach to life.

Book Description:

At the Court of Liang at the period of Yang Chu, about 300 B.C., the philosophers were treated as guests of the reigning king, who reserved for them lodging and maintenance, and encouraged all who had any pretence to the pursuit of truth and wisdom. Whether or not Yang Chu was actually a native of the Wei State, or whether he came there drawn by the attraction of a critical and unrivalled audience, it is at least certain that he settled there as small proprietor, probably in the reign of King Hwei, and continued there till his death, about 250 B.C.

One may imagine a condition of life in many respects somewhat analogous to the life of Epicurus in his famous Athenian Garden. To the philosopher of pleasure and contentment came pupils and disciples, discourses were held in much the same way as at an identical period discourses were held in the garden at Athens, and it is to these discourses, memorised and recorded by his favourite pupil Meng-sun-Yang, that we most probably owe the single fragment of the teaching of Yang Chu that remains, a fragment complete and explicit enough to enable us to form a clear estimate of his teaching and philosophy.

From the Introduction by Hugh Cranmer-Byng

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