On "Viewing Things" and "Viewing Nothing": A Dialogue between Confucianism and Phenomenology

Frontiers of Philosophy in China 3 (2):177 - 193 (2008)
Abstract
In traditional Chinese expressions, guannian M^ (ideas) are results of guan M (viewing). However, viewing can be understood to have two different levels of meanings: one is "viewing things," that is, viewing with something to view; another is "viewing nothing," that is, viewing with nothing to view. What are viewed in "viewing things" are either physical beings — all existing things and phenomena — or the metaphysical being (for example, the "Dao as a thing"). In both cases, something is being viewed. What is viewed in "viewing nothing" is the being itself, or "nothing," in which there is nothing to view. According to Confucianism, the existence of "nothing" manifests itself as life sentiments, especially the sentiment of love, which is the very root and source of benevolence; moreover "viewing nothing" is, in essence, a perception of life. Life sentiments or the perception of life is "the thing itself "prior to any being or any thing. /// 摘要在汉语所表达的中国人的思想中,一切"观念"皆出于"观"。"观"有两层不同 的意义:一是"现物是有所观之观;二是"观元是无所观之观。"现物"之所观 者,或者是形而下的存在者、"万物",或者是形而上的存在者、"道之为物",故有所.
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