Frontiers of Philosophy in China 4 (4):493-510 (2009)

A thorough interpretation of the ideological structure of the recently unearthed Daoist text Hengxian 恒先 has not yet been achieved, and a few doubtful and difficult points still remain to be discussed. Based on the concepts of “ hengxian ”, “ Qi ”, “the Field”, “beginning”, “movement”, “spontaneity”, and “name”, this paper comprehensively discusses the text of Hengxian with respect to the primordial state of the cosmos, the evolution of the cosmos, the production and existence of Heaven, Earth, and the myriad things, and the measure of human behaviors in a society. It further addresses why the word “Dao” does not appear in Hengxian , why it contains a theory of production instead of an ontology, and what is meant by a series of special concepts including “the Field” and “ wuxian 物先 (the state before the myriad things)”.
Keywords cosmology  evolution  production  spontaneity  宇宙观  演化  生成  自然
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DOI 10.1007/s11466-009-0032-3
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