There Are Four Greats in the Realm”: Looking at the Evolution of the Laozi Text with Respect to Different Orderings of the “Four Greats

Contemporary Chinese Thought 48 (3):129-142 (2017)

EDITOR’S ABSTRACTThis paper discusses the two different versions of section 25 of the received Laozi concerning the “four greats in the realm,” one beginning with “the Way is great” and the other with “heaven is great.” While both can be textually supported, this paper argues that the latter is not an error, but rather belongs to an early version of the Laozi. The transmitted edition, however, begins with “the Way is great,” which shows that this version ultimately won out over the former. This paper examines the Han dynasty Laozi commentaries showing the influence of Han dynasty cosmogonies on the ultimate success of the order prioritizing the Way in the transmitted edition.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2018
DOI 10.1080/10971467.2017.1451092
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 44,293
External links

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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Indigenous Sporting Greats Life at Mulga Bore [Book Review].Tony Ward - 2011 - Agora (History Teachers' Association of Victoria) 46 (2):77.
Schelling’s Understanding of Laozi.Kwok Kui Wong - 2017 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 16 (4):503-520.
A Re-Examination of the Paradox of the Dao.Sangmu Oh - 2017 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 16 (4):483-501.
TheLaoziand Anarchism.Aleksandar Stamatov - 2014 - Asian Philosophy 24 (3):260-278.
Governing Through the Dao: A Non-Anarchistic Interpretation of the Laozi. [REVIEW]Alex Feldt - 2010 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 9 (3):323-337.
Agency, Non‐Action, and Desire in the Laozi.Susan Blake - 2015 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 42 (3-4):284-299.
Laozi Ji Cheng =.Tieji Xiong, Hongxing Chen & Laozi (eds.) - 2011 - Zong Jiao Wen Hua Chu Ban She.
A Recursion Principle for Linear Orderings.Juha Oikkonen - 1992 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 57 (1):82-96.


Added to PP index

Total views
12 ( #655,382 of 2,270,963 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #575,015 of 2,270,963 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature