Principle and Place: Complementary Concepts in Confucian Yijing Commentary

Philosophy East and West 66 (3):861-882 (2016)
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Abstract

The classical Western concept of place points in two directions: toward isolating things from one another and toward articulating their connections. Aristotle’s famous definition of a thing’s place as the limit of its surrounding body, which serves to isolate the thing from all but its immediate surroundings, sits side-by-side in the Physics with his theory of natural places, according to which things have places only in relation to each other.1 A thing’s natural place may be at the center—as the earth is at the center of the cosmos in the classical theory—but the center exists only with respect to the periphery, and vice versa. Likewise, a thing can be below only in relation to something above it. The relationship...

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Michael Harrington
Duquesne University

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