The Original Analects
Responses to Reviews and Other Comments
For a complete list of reviews and comments known to us, see the Reviews page. In this section, we respond to some reviewer criticisms. In general, we are not aware that the methods used in arriving at our view of ther Analects, or their major results, such as the accretional nature of the text, have ever been successfully refuted. On the contrary, the accretional theory of another text, the Dau/Dv Jing, has been stunningly confirmed by archaeological finds at Gwodyen. We find reviewer objections to be largely rooted in discomfort with a new idea, or in a wish to operate with the conventional image of Confucius as a propaganda device in the modern world. Readers may judge; here is the dialogue for their consideration.
(Some of this material is duplicated from the web site of Thomas Carlson of Brussels, whose versions in turn were sometimes abridged with the original author's permission; these are marked by [TC]).
- Li Dzv-hou (Appendix 2 to his Lun Yw Jin Du), April 1998
- B J Mansvelt Beck (IIAS Newsletter #17), Dec 1998
- John Makeham (China Review International), Spring 1999 [TC]
- Edward Slingerland (PEW, v50 #1), Jan 2000 [TC]
- David Schaberg (CLEAR), 2001
- Donald J Munro (Author's Note to reprint of The Concept of Man in Early China), 2001
- Liu Xiaogan (Foreword to the above Munro reprint), 2001
- Terry Kleeman (Journal of Chinese Religions #23 (2004) 29-45
Not all criticisms of The Original Analects have appeared in print. Here is a hypothetical response to an unpublished one:
- Open Letter to a Young Scholar
17 May 2007 / Contact The Project / Exit to Publications Page