By François Jullien
Trans. by way of Janet Lloyd
In this hugely insightful research of Western and chinese language recommendations of efficacy, François Jullien subtly delves into the metaphysical preconceptions of the 2 civilizations to account for diverging styles of motion in battle, politics, and international relations. He indicates how Western and chinese language techniques paintings in different domain names (the battlefield, for instance) and analyzes ensuing acts of battle. The chinese language strategist manipulates his personal troops and the enemy to win a conflict with no waging conflict and to result in victory without problems. Efficacity in China is therefore conceived of by way of transformation (as against motion) and manipulation, making it in the direction of what's understood as efficacy within the West.
Jullien’s exceptional interpretations of an array of recondite texts are key to realizing our personal conceptions of motion, time, and truth during this foray into the realm of chinese language notion. In its transparent and penetrating characterization of 2 contrasting perspectives of fact from a heretofore unexplored point of view, A Treatise on Efficacy may be of relevant value within the highbrow debate among East and West.
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Additional resources for A Treatise on Efficacy: Between Western and Chinese Thinking
For if the mere possibility of an engagement is taken into account, even a hypothetical engagement may have a cru· cial effect on the sequence of operations. In the last analy· sis, even if the engagement never takes place, its conse quences, which are what is taken into considtration, are certainly real. At any rate, only action, that is to say, an engagement, makes it possible to obtain "true efficacy," that is to say, the "direct efficacy" that makes the intended effect attain· able. And Clausewitz leaves no doubt as to the nature of that effect: in warfare, the sole object of an engagement is the destruction of the enemy forces.
For whoever knows how to rely on the potential of the sit uation, "victory in battle is unswerving" (5Z, chap. 4, "Xing"). " According to the glosses, there is no possibility of things going "awry" (Zhang Yu), no "two" possible evolutions of the situation (Li Quan; cf. the "constant capacity" that is unswerving in Laozi, section 28). Given the evolution of the relation of forces, the outcome is predetermined even before battle is joined. " But a good gener al intervenes upstream in the process.
_ \ _ <' , ' � -D ;'-I:;'L-�G i% ¥ =-,�' ': rsTMi:B UL i - -':\F, ��� , �;; ' . 4RYe�i ,1 24 Treatise on Efficacy No more "friction," "chance," or "genius" advance, adventitious circumstances are themselves precise ly what make it possible for the implied potential to come about and deploy itself. The West, with its own kind of theoretical equipment, which is of a formalizing and tech nical nature, has proved itself to be singularly inept at think ing about the conduct of warfare, taking account only of secondary matters (preparations and material data) and failing to consider the phenomenon itself (although Clause witz himself identified it as "something that lives and re acts").
A Treatise on Efficacy: Between Western and Chinese Thinking by François Jullien