David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Frontiers of Philosophy in China 6 (1):1-19 (2011)
How is the meaning of the Dao to be understood? To answer this question, we should not make indiscreet remarks outside of the framework of Laozi’s thought; rather, we should enter the system, helping Laozi to establish a philosophical system on the Dao. Such an establishment is equivalent to that of a logical system of Laozi’s philosophy. We consider the presentation of Laozi’s thought as unverified propositions, and the purpose of this essay is to expound on these propositions and make them philosophy in a strict sense: The Dao that can be talked about is not Dao anymore, and while the Dao seems to have its name, it actually does not. Names are also particular things. The Dao is neither a name nor a thing; instead, the Dao implies nonexistence. Nonexistence means the possibility of the being of all things, and all these things are the manifestation of the Dao, thus nonexistence is also existence. Things are discriminated from the Dao, and because all these things are discriminated from each other, there is de 德 (virtues). Where the discrimination is removed, there is the Dao, and adherence to the discrimination means deviation from the Dao. The diversity of things stirs up desires, and the control and utilization of things are a departure from the Dao. Only desires without self are compatible with nature. Desire discriminates with artificial measurements, and thus leads to knowledge. To acquire knowledge is to learn, and learning develops the capability to differentiate between the self and the other, so only a decline in learning can be conducive to human life. One can achieve something, transform external things and withstand nature only after he learns and acquires knowledge. On the other hand, wuwei 无为 (doing nothing) leads to wuwo 无我 (self-denial), avoiding the invention or differentiation of things. So, life is just the movement of the Dao, in which all things are allowed to take their own courses and nothing is left unaccomplished.
|Keywords||Dao Laozi the differentiation of names the presentation of names philosophical way of representation|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Xianglong Zhang (2008). Zhonghua Gu Xue Yu Xiang Xiang Xue. Shandong You Yi Chu Ban She.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Daniel Fried (2012). What's in a Dao?: Ontology and Semiotics in Laozi and Zhuangzi. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 11 (4):419-436.
Qingjie Wang (2000). Heng Dao and Appropriation of Nature - a Hermeneutical Interpretation of Laozi. Asian Philosophy 10 (2):149 – 163.
Phan Chánh Công (2007). The Laozi Code. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 6 (3):239-262.
Jude Chua Soo Meng (2005). The Nameless and Formless Dao as Metaphor and Imagery: Modeling the Dao in Wang Bi's Laozi. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 32 (3):477–492.
Qingjie Wang (2001). Heng and Temporality of Dao: Laozi and Heidegger. [REVIEW] Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 1 (1):55-71.
Zhaohui Bao (2010). The Advantages, Shortcomings, and Existential Issues of Zhuangzi's Use of Images. Frontiers of Philosophy in China 5 (2):196-211.
Yun Chen (2009). Revealing the Dao of Heaven Through the Dao of Humans: Sincerity in the Doctrine of the Mean. [REVIEW] Frontiers of Philosophy in China 4 (4):537-551.
Chenggui Li (2006). Three Sources of Wisdom of Chinese Traditional Virtue and a Contemporary Examination. Frontiers of Philosophy in China 1 (3):341-365.
Weidong Yu & Jin Xu (2009). Morality and Nature: The Essential Difference Between the Dao of Chinese Philosophy and Metaphysics in Western Philosophy. [REVIEW] Frontiers of Philosophy in China 4 (3):360-369.
Changchi Hao (2005). Relativity of the Human World and Dao in Lao-Zhuang - an Interpretation of Chapter 1 of the Zhuangzi and of the Laozi. [REVIEW] Asian Philosophy 15 (3):265 – 280.
Deron Chen (2009). Dao Legislates for Humans Vs. Humans Legislate for Themselves : A Comparison of Laozi's and Confucius' Conceptions of Dao. In Jinfen Yan & David E. Schrader (eds.), Creating a Global Dialogue on Value Inquiry: Papers From the Xxii Congress of Philosophy (Rethinking Philosophy Today). Edwin Mellen Press.
Alex Feldt (2010). Governing Through the Dao: A Non-Anarchistic Interpretation of the Laozi. [REVIEW] Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 9 (3):323-337.
James Behuniak (2010). John Dewey and the Virtue of Cook Ding's Dao. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 9 (2):161-174.
Yu Weidong, Xu Jin & Zhang Lin (2009). Morality and Nature: The Essential Difference Between the Dao of Chinese Philosophy and Metaphysics in Western Philosophy. Frontiers of Philosophy in China 4 (3):360 - 369.
Sungmoon Kim (2013). Between Good and Evil: Xunzi's Reinterpretation of the Hegemonic Rule as Decent Governance. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 12 (1):73-92.
Added to index2011-02-13
Total downloads13 ( #122,800 of 1,102,971 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #297,509 of 1,102,971 )
How can I increase my downloads?