Nihel Jhou
National Taiwan University
There have been very few studies of the Daoist conception of time in either the West or the East. The only explicit study on this topic in the English literature is David Chai’s (2014). Chai maintains that “human measured time” manifested in myriad things in the Daoist universe is merely a mental construction, whereas the authentic time is cosmological time, which consists of neither an A-series (which is ordered by non-reducible pastness, presentness, and futurity) nor a B-series (which is ordered by earlier-than relations) but something without order and directionality. In this paper, I start with Daoist texts (i.e., Dao De Jing and Zhuangzi) about fundamental reality and time. I then explain and analyze Chai’s interpretations of these texts. Lastly, I argue that Chai’s interpretations violate an important Daoist principle. In addition, the idea that human measured time is merely a mental construction is not the best available interpretation of the texts.
Keywords Daoism, time, presentness, temporal passage, A-series, B-series
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DOI 10.1007/s11712-020-09747-8
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References found in this work BETA

Objective Becoming.Bradford Skow - 2015 - Oxford University Press UK.
Relativity, the Open Future, and the Passage of Time.Oliver Pooley - 2013 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 113 (3pt3):321-363.
Zhuangzi: Basic Writings.Burton Watson - 2003 - Columbia University Press.
Tao Te Ching.D. C. Lau - 1985 - Philosophy East and West 35 (2):213-215.
Zhuangzi’s Meontological Notion of Time.David Chai - 2014 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 13 (3):361-377.

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