Week 8 Title - Week 8 Title Impersonal Meaning Week 8aLao...

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Week 8 Title— Impersonal Meaning Week 8a—Lao Tzu— Tao Te Ching History of Lao Tzu and Taoism Lao Tzu (Old Master) is the legendary sage-author of the work known as the Tao Te Ching ( The Book of the Way and Virtue ) and regarded as a deity in and founder of the Chinese system of Taoism. He is identified with another figure, Lao Tan ("Old Tan"), in early Chinese sources, particularly by the famous Taoist philosopher Chuang Tzu. It’s not clear when Lao Tzu lived. Some time before 200 BCE, is the latest date, for that is the date that the version of the Tao Te Ching that we have was finalized. Some scholars doubt that there was even one person who authored the entire Tao Te Ching . The Chief Virtue of Taoism: Wu wei -takes the idea that there is a chief virtue -calls this as ‘no action’ or acting out of sincerity but without pretence. Often translated as “non action” or “not doing anything” and its inverse “doing” but it means something more like “acting spontaneously” or “acting naturally.” It is related to the idea of sincerity or being like a piece of “ uncarved wood ” ( Tao Te Ching 15, 28)—which has to do with being natural, and also pure potential. Its opposite is associated with the idea of refinement. -Contrasted to the notion of refinement. Refinement=confushion view=high culture where people will take pains to learn literature and become picky with how they relate to each other and about edicate. They are valued…if you don’t know which fork to use there is something wrong with you. That is unrefined. -This rejects refinement as important. .If you are acting spontaneously and naturally you don’t care which fork you use!Those issues are trival. The Tao The central concept of Taoism is that of the Tao . -Main virtue of natruatlist. Overall idea, the great way. It is the Great Way. It is the Ultimate Reality and the origin of all. The Taoists thought that the ultimate governing principle is normative. -IN the east, they did draw distinction of choices we have to make. The choices don’t have to do with facts. Distinguish between values and facts. In the west, this is a way to get to nature (we just look)… -If you are interested in nature you have to know that there is a great way. If you want to understand it, and live a meaningful life, you should live it with accordance to the great way. And if you don’t you are foolish. -In the west, you try to divorce values from facts(naturalistic POV)-you find in the leo Zeo being natural leads us to know what is important…what is ulimtetly true is the great way which is holding us in its direction -Confusionism: very patriotriaal…men are superior to women and old superior to young. - Masculity has to be tempered if its going to be anything worth while.
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This note was uploaded on 05/31/2011 for the course PHIL 100 taught by Professor James during the Spring '11 term at University of Toronto.

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Week 8 Title - Week 8 Title Impersonal Meaning Week 8aLao...

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