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Unformatted text preview: The Daoists 05/02/2008 14:05:00 ← Dao = Way (Daoism, Daoist) • Founder: older versions: Laozi (“old master” expert on ritual modern versions: Zhuangzi • The Laozi- paradoxical; beautiful poetry but hard to understand (also called Daodejing “way virtue classic”) • Xunzi was probably influenced by Daoism ← What is the Way? • Hidden Aspect of the Way—“nonbeing, empty, subtle essence” o the Way is not a “thing” at all; thus, there are lots of aspects of the Dao that cannot be explained by definition (no size, shape, weight, beginning or end, top or bottom, etc.) o eternally in motion but never changes; no consciousness or awareness o it is indifferent (all creatures are like straw dogs) o no will or desires; no humanity or lack thereof o greater than heaven and earth and the means by which they came to be [heaven presumably had a beginning and will have an end; same for the earth so they are things; the Dao has always been and always will be] o it is that by which all things came to be and are nurtured (gives birth but it doesn’t intend to create and it doesn’t create—it’s the way things come into being on their own spontaneously) o doesn’t claim ownership nor glorify itself/its merit o doesn’t intrude by means of conscious action o omnipresent, supreme, natural law o human beings follow the earth, earth follows heaven, heaven follows the Way, and the Way follows itself (spontaneity) o opposites are reconciled and evened out • Manifested Aspect of the Way—“being” o Consists of things that have a beginning and an end and have names (i.e. the practical world) o Phenomenal world is full of contrast: dark/light, good/not-good, beauty/ ugliness, high/low, yin/yang. Can’t have one without the other, so the opposites are interdependent. But opposites don’t mean anything in the hidden aspect [in the hidden aspect, everything is evened out and non-existent] • The two aspects of the way are the same! • Unity of opposites : we cannot understand anything with the exclusion of the opposite (e.g. we must be aware of what ugliness is or we wont appreciate beauty) but there is a state of mind in which opposites do not apply but are reconciled and evened out. They are “manufactured” and have no real basis [there are no absolute standards of good or evil, no definition of absolute beauty] ← What happened to the Way?...
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- Spring '08
- Chinese philosophy