A differentiation of the meaning of “ qi ” on several levels

Frontiers of Philosophy in China 3 (2):194-212 (2008)
In Chinese philosophy, although the concept of qi has numerous meanings, it is not completely without order or chaotic. Generally speaking, qi has several different levels of meanings, such as in philosophy, physics, physiology, psychology, ethics, and so on. On the philosophical level, qi is similar to air, and it is essentially similar to the matter-energy or field in physics, which refers to the origin or an element of all things in the world. It is from this point that the meanings of qi in physiology, psychology, ethics as well as aesthetics are derived. This paper analyzes the meanings of qi on five levels and seeks to clarify misunderstandings about qi, such as its alleged pan-vitalistic, conscious and pan-ethical characters
Keywords Chinese philosophy   qi  several levels of meaning  中国哲学    意义的几个层次
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