In this work of comparative philosophy, Bryan W. Van Norden presents an ambitious interpretation of pre-Qin Chinese texts traditionally classified as the teachings of Confucianism and Mohism. By his account, they contain arguments and intertextual dialectic not only resembling those of contemporary ethical theories in Western philosophy, but also possessing the potential to contribute uniquely and defensibly to the ongoing ahistorical conversation. As the book's title suggests, Van Norden's template draws on philosophical debate between proponents of ethical views in the West, characterizable as virtue ethics and consequentialism, respectively. Because of the book's own eagerness to clarify and establish its methodological grounds, I will discuss them substantively in this review. I will then address with broader strokes the book's interpretations of Confucianism, or “Ruism” as Van Norden prefers (p. xiv), and Mohism as forms of virtue ethics and consequentialism. (Van Norden also prefers the monikers “Kongzi” and “Mengzi” for...

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