Sun Tzu citations

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Sun Tzu

Date de naissance: 543 av. J.-C.
Date de décès: 251
Autres noms:Sun Zi, Sun-c’


Sun Tzu ou Sun Zi ou Souen Tseu de son vrai nom Sun Wu est un général chinois du VIe siècle av. J.-C. .

Il est surtout célèbre en tant qu'auteur de l'ouvrage de stratégie militaire le plus ancien connu : L'Art de la guerre. L'idée principale de son œuvre est que l’objectif de la guerre est de contraindre l’ennemi à abandonner la lutte, y compris sans combat, grâce à la ruse, l'espionnage, une grande mobilité et l'adaptation à la stratégie de l'adversaire. Tous ces moyens doivent ainsi être employés afin de s'assurer une victoire au moindre coût .

Les idées de L'Art de la guerre ont été reprises et adaptées par différents auteurs pour la stratégie et notamment la stratégie d'entreprise. Dans un sens plus large, L'Art de la guerre peut être interprété comme une méthode de résolution des conflits.

Citations Sun Tzu


„WANG XI Opponents cannot exhaust you.“

— Sun Tzu
The Art of War: Complete Texts and Commentaries

„Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness.“

— Sun Tzu
Context: Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate. Alternative translation: Subtle and insubstantial, the expert leaves no trace; divinely mysterious, he is inaudible. Thus he is master of his enemy's fate. Alternative translation: O divine art of subtlety and secrecy! Through you we learn to be invisible, through you inaudible and hence we can hold the enemy's fate in our hands.

„The art of war is of vital importance to the State.“

— Sun Tzu
Context: The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.

„If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, the general is to blame.“

— Sun Tzu
Context: If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, the general is to blame. But if his orders are clear, and the soldiers nevertheless disobey, then it is the fault of their officers.


„Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.“

— Sun Tzu
This has often been attributed to Sun Tzu and sometimes to Petrarch. It comes most directly from a line spoken by Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II (1974), written by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola:<br/> My father taught me many things here. He taught me in this room. He taught me: keep your friends close but your enemies closer.<br/> Also seen in the Thirty-Six Strategems, as the 28th strategem: Befriend a distant state and strike a neighbouring one (遠交近攻/远交近攻, Yuǎn jiāo jìn gōng) Niccolò Machiavelli commented at greater length on the subject in The Prince:<br/> It is easier for the prince to make friends of those men who were contented under the former government, and are therefore his enemies, than of those who, being discontented with it, were favourable to him and encouraged him to seize it.


„The true objective of war is peace.“

— Sun Tzu
This attributed to Sun Tzu and his book The Art of War. Actually [ James Clavell’s foreword in The Art of War] [ states], “’the true object of war is peace.’” Therefore the quote is stated by James Clavell, but the true origin of Clavell's quotation is unclear. Nonetheless the essence of the quote, that a long war exhausts a state and therefore ultimately seeking peace is in the interest of the warring state, is true, as Sun Tzu in Chapter II Waging Wars says that "There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare. It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on." This has been [ interpreted by Lionel Giles] as "Only one who knows the disastrous effects of a long war can realize the supreme importance of rapidity in bringing it to a close." Dr. Hiroshi Hatanaka, President of Kobe College, Nishinomiya, Hyōgo, Japan is recorded as saying "the real objective of war is peace" in Pacific Stars and Stripes Ryukyu Edition, Tokyo, Japan (10 February 1949), Page 2, Column 2.

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