Ignorance Is Bliss: The Chinese Art Of Not Knowing - Matthyssen Mieke | Libro Palgrave Macmillan 06/2021 - HOEPLI.it

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matthyssen mieke - ignorance is bliss: the chinese art of not knowing

Ignorance is Bliss: The Chinese Art of Not Knowing

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Lingua: Inglese
Pubblicazione: 06/2021
Edizione: 1st ed. 2021


This book examines the popular, yet puzzling, Chinese saying Nande hutu ???? to uncover how the ancient Chinese wisdom of not knowing is constructed, interpreted, practiced and valued in contemporary society.

Originating in the calligraphy of Qing-dynasty scholar Zheng Banqiao, Nande hutu translates literally as: “hard to attain muddle-headedness”. Mieke Matthyssen traces the historical development of this saying and related philosophies to reveal a culturally conditioned, multi-layered inclination to different forms of not knowing. In contemporary society, she argues, this inclination forms part of a living art: in some respects, a passive, evasive strategy for self-preservation; in other respects, a strategy for coping with intrapersonal, interpersonal and social complexities.  

Drawing on an extensive range of primary sources and original research, the analysis skillfully combines philosophical and socio-historical analysis with theory from Chinese philosophy, philosophical psychology and the relatively new field of indigenous psychology, to provide an in-depth understanding of how Nande hutu has shaped, and continues to shape, the Chinese psyche and behaviour. 

This book will appeal to all readers looking for fresh insights into Chinese culture, and in particular to students and scholars of Chinese and Asian studies, cultural and social anthropology, and philosophical and indigenous psychology.


1. Introduction: The Chinese Art of Not Knowing.- 2. The Daoist Sage Fool and the Confucian Learned Man.- 3. The Art of Not Knowing: A Scholar’s Paradox.- 4. The Modern Wisdom of Playing Dumb.- 5. The Wisdom of Playing Dumb in Practice.- 6. The Psycho-Social Appeal of the Wisdom of Playing Dumb.- 7. The Moral Code of Playing Dumb.- 8. Conclusion: The Culture of Vagueness in Transition.- 9. Postscript: Hutu at the Crossroads of Knowledge and Information (Louise Sundararajan).


Mieke Matthyssen is a lecturer in the Department of Chinese Studies at Ghent University, Belgium. Her research interests focus on the intellectual history and contemporary interpretation of traditional Chinese philosophies of life, health strategies and indigenous psychology. She has published in journals such as Contemporary Chinese Thought and Journal of Asian History.

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Altre Informazioni



Condizione: Nuovo
Collana: Palgrave Studies in Indigenous Psychology
Dimensioni: 210 x 148 mm Ø 652 gr
Formato: Copertina rigida
Illustration Notes:2 Illustrations, black and white
Pagine Arabe: 380
Pagine Romane: xxii

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