By François Jullien

Trans. by means of Janet Lloyd

In this hugely insightful research of Western and chinese language ideas of efficacy, François Jullien subtly delves into the metaphysical preconceptions of the 2 civilizations to account for diverging styles of motion in conflict, 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 warfare and to lead to victory easily. Efficacity in China is hence conceived of when it comes to transformation (as against motion) and manipulation, making it towards what's understood as efficacy within the West.

Jullien’s fantastic interpretations of an array of recondite texts are key to realizing our personal conceptions of motion, time, and fact during this foray into the realm of chinese language concept. In its transparent and penetrating characterization of 2 contrasting perspectives of truth from a heretofore unexplored point of view, A Treatise on Efficacy could be of primary value within the highbrow debate among East and West.

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5. Which side is the better armed? 6. Which side has the better-trained officers and men? 7. ). " From this antag­ onistic situation, as evaluated by that series �o( questions, by viewing it from every possible angle, he wiJl'discover a particular potential and will only need to exploit it. This passage, moving from an assessment of the forces in confrontation to the potential that can be deduced from that assessment, is of central importance. The words of the ancient treatise deserve particularly close attention:' "Once the assessment of what is profitable [made on the basis of the above seven points] has been agreed upon, one can deduce the potential of the situation, which can be helpful outsided [�outside' meaning beyond the rules of evaluation, on the terrain where operations are to take place].

Your partner in this way moves forward amid a continuous kind of acqui­ escence that progressively makes him weaker and gives you ascendancy over him. In this way, in relations with others (especially the ruler himself), you always act openly, with­ out risk, neither planning nor forcing anything in advance, but always adapting so closely to the circumstances that, on the contrary, it is they that at every turn offer you a measure of control from which you can profit. Allowing yourself always to be carried along by the situation in this fashion, you gradually increase your control over what is happening.

In contrast, if you depend on the propensity that stems from your own ascendancy, you will be swept to triumph by others (MZ, I, A, 7). " The whole of Chinese thought about efficacy reverts to a single act: that of "returning" to the fundamental "basis, '" that is to say, the starting point of something that, as a condition, subsequently carried forward by the evolution of things, will gradually impose i�_ sway of its own accord. In such circumstances, an effect is' not merely probable, as it is in a constructed relation of means to an end, but will unfailingly result, sponte sua.

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