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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Front. Philos. China    2010, Vol. 5 Issue (1) : 68-93
Research articles |
The Flexibility of Gua and Yao—Based on an Interpretation of Yizhuan
Department of Philosophy, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China;
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Abstract In Yizhuan’s interpretation of The Book of Changes, the book’s fundamental concepts, xiang 象 (images) and ci 辞 (words), play different roles. Concepts, including yin and yang, firmness and gentleness, sancai 三才 (three fundamentals), and the wuxing 五行 (five active elements), are used to interpret The Book of Changes through the interpretation of images, while the core Confucian values, such as benevolence and righteousness, are used to interpret The Book of Changes because of their connection with words of gua and yao. In order to expand the meaning of the words of gua and yao, Yizhuan sometimes connects words with images; in other occasions, however, it simply takes these words as independent guides. The Confucian scholars who wrote Yizhuan, therefore, not only revered the classic, but also used it to send their own message. Out of reverence, they “shu 述 (recited)”; in using it, they “zuo 作 (created)”. The combination of recitation and creation made the words of gua and yao very flexible in the process of interpretation, while the interpretation changed the meaning of the classic to a great extent.
Keywords the words of gua and yao      yuan heng li zhen      divining representation      moralization      
Issue Date: 05 March 2010
 Cite this article:   
WANG Bo. The Flexibility of Gua and Yao—Based on an Interpretation of Yizhuan[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2010, 5(1): 68-93.
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