A Revisionist Understanding of Zhang Zai's Development of Qi in the Context of his Critique of the Buddhist

Asian Philosophy 20 (2):111-126 (2011)
In a comprehensive survey of contemporary scholarship on Zhang Zai's (1020-1077) development of the notion qi ( 'vital energy') in the context of his critique of the Buddhist, I observe that there is a prevalent imposition of a Western concept, namely, 'substance monism', on his understanding of qi . It is assumed that he posits that 'the myriad things ( wanwu )' and 'the vast emptiness ( taixu )' are simultaneously differentiated and unified in that they are but different manifestations of an undifferentiated singular entity, that is, qi . I argue that such understanding distorts the 'logic' of Zhang Zai's qi that accounts for the simultaneous differentiation and the unity of 'the myriad things' and 'the vast emptiness' in terms of relationally opposed polarities and the dynamic unity amongst them. I also argue that this understanding distorts his practical message that emphasizes the endeavor to create coherence among our differences without recourse to a realm of 'oneness' that transcends our differences
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09552367.2010.484949
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,674
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
Wing-tsit Chan (1963). A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy. Princeton, N.J.,Princeton University Press.

View all 11 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
David Elstein (2004). Zhang Zai. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

25 ( #189,782 of 1,903,042 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #264,928 of 1,903,042 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.