The author Philip J. Ivanhoe received his B.A. degree from Stanford University in 1976 and his Ph. D. from Stanford University in 1987. His journal references include International Philosophical Quarterly, The Journal of Religious Ethics, Journal of the American Academy of Religions, Philosophy East and West, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, and Asia Major. His latest works includes, Working Virtue: Virtue Ethics and Contemporary Moral Problems, coeditor with Rebecca Walker, (2004). Essays on Mencius Moral Philosophy, coeditor with Liu Xiusheng, (2002). The Laozi or Daodejing, (2002). And a revised and expanded second edition of Ethics in the Confucian Tradition: The Thought of Mengzi and Wang Yangming, (2002). There are several other publications about similar information included in his list of accomplishments making him highly qualified to write Confucian Moral Self Cultivation (2000). Philip J. Ivanhoe is married to Jiang Hong. He has two children Fu Song (Carly) and Nuan Jiang (John).
Although his family may influence his political or philosophical views, I would think it would be by encouraging him in the work that he does.
This book is about Confucius philosophy through the ages. The specific topic is self cultivation. The author covers self cultivation according to Kongzi ("Confucius") and then the beliefs and teachings of Kongzi's followers, Mengzi, Xunzi, Shu Xi, Wang Yangming, Yan Yuna, and Dai Zhen.
The author states that he is "focusing upon one specific aspect of their thought---their views on moral self cultivation.... I have pointed out a way in which, as a tradition, these very different thinkers can be joined with a single thread (p. 101)." He goes on to describe the different titles he gives to each thinker's thoughts. Kongzi's thoughts are called the acquisition model of moral self cultivation. Mengzi's are called a developmental model of moral self cultivation. Xunzi's...