The Categorical Interpretation of Guo Xiang's "Independent Genesis"

Frontiers of Philosophy in China 3 (4):520 - 534 (2008)

Seemingly, "independent genesis" refers to the independent existence and changes of each thing, but it is clear that there cannot be any truly "independent" things at all. Each thing in the world has to stay in connection or relationship with other things outside itself if it wants to represent its own "independence" and "genesis" in terms of form; and inevitably such connection or relationship itself has to be embodied in the internal nature of each thing. In the metaphysical thought of Guo Xiang, the former was known as the quality of "interdependence"; and the latter the characteristics of "quality" or "quality image." Such characteristics of "quality" or "quality image" were interdependent, which constituted the essence of each thing itself as "beingness" and "beinglessness," and thus resulted in the independent manifestation and change of things in terms of their external forms. The grasping of essence of things as "beingness" and "beinglessness" depended upon comprehension or rational intuition, and that was the realm of "profundity" in Guo Xiang's terms. /// 摘要所谓 "独化", 表面地看,是指每个事物的独立存在及其变化。但事实上, 真正 "独" 的事物是不存在的。世上的每个事物要在其形态上表现出 "独" 和 "化" 的话,一定要与它之外的其他事物处在联系中; 而此种联系本身又必然地要 在每个事物的内性上表现出来。这在郭象玄学思想中,前者叫 "相因" 性,后者叫 "性" 或 "性分" 性。这种 "相因" 性与 "性分" 性是互为条件的,并最终构成了 每一事物自身的 "有一无" 性本质,从而成就了事物的外在存在状态上的独立表现 与变化。把握事物这种 "有一无" 性本质,要靠体悟或理性直观,这就是郭象所谓 的 "玄冥" 之境。.
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DOI 10.1007/s11466-008-0033-7
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