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|Title: ||老子的自然哲學;Nature of Philosophy of Laozi|
|Authors: ||譚宇權;tan, yu-chuan|
|Keywords: ||道;自然;道家哲學;老子自然哲學;詩人哲學家;Dao;nature;Daoist philosophy;Nature Philosophy of Laozi;Poet phhilisopher|
|Issue Date: ||2019-04-02 14:35:20 (UTC+8)|
二、 我從《詩經》的「玄鳥生商」的傳說， 來比較老子以「玄牝」，只做到之
三、 而這個力量就是海德格說的「大寫之自然」(Nature)， 或來自於老子在其
;Nature Philosophy of Laozi
The purpose of this thesis is to try to continue the work of Pao -Hsin Yuen（袁保新）
in the reconstruction of metaphysics, hoping to find a better philosophical method
for understanding Laozi.
In Pao-Hsin Yuen′s research, I found that he managed to interpret Laozi′s way in a
style that transcends inverse conception between subjective and objective, thus
creating and affirming that Laozi′s way has its entity. Secondly, I think that his
criticism of Chun-I Tang（唐君毅） is quite convincing as Chun-I Tang
understanding of Chinese philosophy has become an understanding of epistemology.
But I also think that: Chun-I Tang’s interpretation of Laozi has one major
oversight — he abandons Laozi′s original thinking as a poet and directly analyzes
Laozi′s philosophy subjectively by using the knowledge of Western philosophers.
While Tsung-San Mou（牟宗三）can inject insight into Chinese philosophy from the
traits and background of Chinese philosophy (the Zhou dynasty culture has
gradually become rigid and lost its epoch（周文疲弊1）), to understand Laozi′s
philosophy. But because of the past his understanding of Chinese philosophy is
based on the "life philosophy" as the starting point, so he always uses the intrinsic
transcendence of life, which is also in line with Laozi’s approach. However, is his
As for Yuen Pao-Hsin’s statement, he pointed out that the way of Lao zi has a true
element. However, he ignores the “nameless” nature of Tao that Lao zi established.
In other words, the concept of this Tao is created by him and is the result of his
reflection in his heart. Moreover, he has made it clear that this kind of Tao comes
from his direct perception through the senses. Therefore, we must not establish the
same way in the objective world as Western philosophers do.
1 After the long history of the chanting, the Zhou dynasty culture has gradually become rigid and
lost its epoch, which is the disorder of the whole era.
Moreover, Tsung-San Mou’s Chinese philosophy is just the beginning of our study
of Laozi, because he has inspired us to further question: What is this philosophical
thinking that is completely different from Confucianism?
According to my understanding of Chu, a state in the Zhou Dyna sty, Laozi, like
Confucius, often read a book called the Book of Changes（易經）. This book is
originally a book for fortune telling, but its philosophical significance is to infer
the good or ill luck of human beings from various phenomena of the universe.
Laozi’s philosophy seems to be like this, creating a creative interpretation by
basing on The Book of Changes. Therefore, Laozi had created this natural
philosophy system as a means for providing answers through wisdom in regards to
their apprehension of future crises.
In addition, we must also understand that Laozi lived in a very special environment,
which was filled with ancient Chinese mythology, religion and great poets. In this
background, there are many conditions that have produced this kind of
philosophers like Laozi. Usually, the poet will apply a primitive and holistic
viewpoint to imagine the source of the universe, or to use metaphors to explain the
thought that he had experienced. Therefore, I not only analyze the book of Lao zi
with the poet′s philosophical creation, but also try to understand the important
aspects of Laozi′s philosophy by applying the philosophy of human culture（人類
文化哲學） of Ernst Cassirer.
My approach is based on the theory of modern philosophy which includes the
interpretation of the spiritual scientist Ernst Cassirer. He believes that various
cultures can not always be interpreted in terms of science because it is full of
impossible descriptions ( for example, there is a description of having affection for
all things on earth in the Book of Chuang-Tzu（莊子）). However, it does not
explain this Chinese philosophy with mysterious phenomena, such as the
conditions created by Chinese culture. It is quite appropriate due to Lao zi′s holistic
thinking, which is the inheritance of mythology, art, language, and the resulting
history. Therefore, today we can interpret Laozi′s philosophy of Taoism from this
From Ernst Cassirer′s linguistic philosophy, in the age of mythology, there is a
mythical language, which is a kind of "direct expression" language; for example, to
believe that the heavens are expressing their anger when thunder is heard. This is
an expression of the symbolical language. In the same way, Laozi′s "Tao" is also a
symbol of all forms of composition. One example of this comes from his use of
“the spirit of hollowness（谷神）” to directly refer to Tao as the mother of all things.
Or use a metaphor - " the profound maternal nature （玄牝）" to directly explain it.
And he also used "the most mysterious of the mysterious" to expres s something
beyond logic and reason because people at that time thought this phenomenon is
rich in mysticism, and didn’t want to study it anymore. Therefore, Lao zi′s
interpretation in Western academic circles is so.
However, it is not so simple in the eyes of Ernst Cassirer because mythology
contains holistic thinking. In the philosophy of Laozi, we also found this to be a
feature of his philosophy. This is what we believe in the past, the fact that Lao zi
uses the theory that man is an integral part of nature. Therefore, I advocate that we
must approach the study of Laozi with this special philosophical thinking.
The significance is that when Confucianism says that there must be a distinction
between good and evil, Laozi says "What is the difference between good and evil?"
Laozi is a great philosopher who advocated "reverse thinking" so he thought that
"there is no difference between with and without", regardless of whether morality
is necessary or not. For example, Confucius and Mencius insist the rectifica tion of
named while Laozi advocated anonymity. That is to re-visit the world with no
difference after using Confucianism′s difference. Therefore, he established one of
the above-mentioned thinking views. So if Confucianism is a human-centered
thinking, Laozi is highly concerned with the idea that all things are equal which is
to release the nature of all things to themselves, so that they all have the
opportunity to be self-sufficient.
This is a new concept of governing a country, which is to let the politi cians adopt a
“letting things take their own course” approach. Therefore, we observe the
philosophy of Laozi from the philosophy of human culture（人類文化哲學） of
Ernst Cassirer. It is not a profound form of study, but a way to return to the concept
of authenticity to solve the survival crises that human beings face due to excessive
Not only that, after Laozi′s reinterpretation, the literary atmosphere from the Book
of Laozi is manifested, and his observation of all things has formed a new vision.
For example, the principle of making everything, he does not pay attention to its
individuality and differences, but places importance on its integrity.
Moreover, he treats the house and appliance, as they are only a part of the entity.
His views are different from ordinary people. Laozi held views that differed from
ordinary people. He considered that an entity is actually constituted from void.
Therefore, he proposed a new philosophical thinking here to be a beginning of
establishing a new outlook on life.
In this respect, I must emphasize that Chinese philosophy is a philosophy of
practical experience, so it is necessary to have a noble character like Tsung-San
Mou, who cultivates in this respect. He owns self -cultivation of life philosophy in
addition to being able to make a philosophical interpretation.
Not only the moral cultivation, but also the environment where Laozi grew up in
was an important condition for a poet to develop. Qu Yuan（屈原）, a poet in the
Chu State, is another example. Laozi or later Chuang-Tzu, always used the special
poet′s imagination to use many metaphors to express their new views on things. For
example, Chuang-Tzu has the way of walking on two paths（兩行之道） and fables
（寓言之說） while Laozi has the spirit of hollowness and the profound maternal
nature. Therefore, if we look at Laozi from such a poet’s perspective, it is
understandable why Martin Heidegger, who studied Laozi from phenomenology,
considered poetry and thought to be related field of study. The significance is that -
Laozi is regarded as both a poet and also a great philosopher.
The results of my research are as following.
I avoid the philosophical study of Chun-I Tang, and approach studying the Book of
Laozi through his thinking as a writer and philosopher. For example, I think Lao zi
uses a poet′s way to think about philosophy. When he interprets the fundamental
way, he is constantly using the poet ic metaphors（such as "valley" is metaphor for
the virtue of being generous, or "baby" is for true nature）. Such society thus
established no longer has human disturbances. This perfect cosmology which is
“independent, changeless, revolving, circulating and ceaseless（獨立而不改，周行
而不殆）” that Laozi has established through his imagination is presented as his
wisdom of life to inspire all human beings . The political application of this wisdom,
of course, can be applied in the forms of "never insisting （無執）" and “not acting
（無為）". For example, he said: "The Tao in its regular course does nothing for the
sake of doing it, and so there is nothing which it does not do（道常無為而無不為）
", showing a perfect state through imagination, but not necessarily the perfection
that reality can reach. Therefore, he is perfect in building a world of values. This is
the main reason why Laozi should be studied from a poet’s perspective.
First of all, from the legend of The Book of Songs（詩經）, "the mysterious bird
gives birth to shang（玄鳥生商）", I compare Laozi with "the profound maternal
nature" and only achieve the symbolism or metaphor of the origin of all things
instead of creating the doctrine of all things. Therefore, I conclude that the
metaphysics of Laozi is different from the physical metaphysics established by the
approach of using Western knowledge, and is also different from the God
metaphysics with supreme authority. In this comparison, I think that the Tao of
Laozi is produced through the process of self -weakening after Laozi has "the
profound virtue（玄德）". The reason is that this root has lost its nature to dominate
all things, and gives all things the inherent strength of self-sufficiency.
Secondly, this power is the "Nature" that M. Heidegger said, or from the natural
world that Laozi built in his heart, that is, the meaning of "artificial nature" that I
Third, under this interpretation, the most important value of the Book of Laozi is
not the way to explain the source of the universe, but the established outlook on
life, and the resulting aesthetic life wisdom. Including his view that does not
distinguish between life and death and letting people know that everything in this
world is changing. Therefore, if you can regard human life and death as a beautiful
cycle, you will be able to become a wise man, and you can use it to live with peace
of mind, comfort, and live without troubles.
In short, we should not regard the poetic feeling and the imaginative Laozi′s
philosophy as a philosophy in the sense of Western philosophy. On the contrary, the
greatness of Chuang-Tzu, who is full of poetry, is that he can realize that Laozi′s
philosophy is special, so he creates a more beautiful view of the universe and life.
Therefore, I advocate that the use of Ernst Cassirer′s the philosophy of human
culture（人類文化哲學） and Martin Heidegger′s research approach will create an
unexpected new understanding of the Book of Laozi.
|Appears in Collections:||[哲學研究所] 博碩士論文|
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