Zhang Xuecheng (1738–1801) has primarily been read as a philosopher of history. This volume presents him as an ethical philosopher with a distinctive understanding of the aims and methods of Confucian self-cultivation. Offered in English translation for the first time, this collection of Zhang's essays and letters should challenge our current understanding of this Qing dynasty philosopher. On Ethics and History also contains translations of three important essays written by Tang-dynasty Confucian Han Yu and shows how Zhang responded to Han's earlier works. Those with an interest in ethical philosophy, religion, and Chinese thought and culture will find still relevant much of what Zhang argued for in his own day.
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