Is Human History Predestined in Wang Fuzhi’s Cosmology?

Journal of Chinese Philosophy 28 (3):321–338 (2001)
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Abstract

In traditional Chinese cosmology, this pattern could be very well explained in terms of the fluctuation of yin and yang, or as the natural order of Heaven. This cosmological explanation fits natural history well. There are natural phenomena such as floods, draughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc., that are beyond human control. These events have their determining factors. Once those factors are present, a natural disaster, however unfavorably viewed by humans, is doomed to take place. The view that natural history is determined by factors outside the human world can be accepted without much controversy. However, when applied to human history, the role of man in human history becomes problematic under this kind of cosmology. How much of our success or failure is due to our larger cosmological environment -- the ongoing development of the chi'? Can a single individual reverse the flow of yin and yang or the emergence of good times and bad times? On a larger scale, is human history predestined? If there is a necessary rotation of prosperity and chaos, then it can be argued that..

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JeeLoo Liu
California State University, Fullerton

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