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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Front. Philos. China    2009, Vol. 4 Issue (4) : 493-510
Research articles |
The construction of the view of the cosmos and the human world in Hengxian
WANG Zhongjiang,
Department of Philosophy, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China;
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Abstract 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      
Issue Date: 05 December 2009
 Cite this article:   
WANG Zhongjiang. The construction of the view of the cosmos and the human world in Hengxian[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2009, 4(4): 493-510.
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