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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Front. Philos. China    2017, Vol. 12 Issue (1) : 10-25     DOI: 10.3868/s030-006-017-0002-5
Orginal Article |
Approaching Laozi : Comparing a Syncretic Reading to a Synthetic One
Thomas Michael1(), CHEN Yazhou2
1. School of Philosophy, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
2. School of Philosophy, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
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Abstract

Is Laozi a syncretic text whose primary body of ideas were cobbled together from multiple and various sources, none of which can reasonably be identified as Daoist, or is it a synthetic text whose ideas emerged from a single source that for all intents embodies the core elements of a tradition that meets the standards of inclusion for a tradition of early Daoism? The present work examines the key points of Hongkyung Kim’s sophisticated account of Laozi’s origins as a syncretic text. It then goes on to present the key points of what would have to be involved in its original circulations as a synthetic text. It concludes by suggesting a middle ground that is able to explain why an originally synthetic Laozi is all too easily read by modern scholars as a syncretic text.

Keywords Laozi      Dao De Jing      early Daoism      Lüshi Chunqiu      yangsheng      Hongkyung Kim     
Issue Date: 24 April 2017
 Cite this article:   
Thomas Michael,CHEN Yazhou. Approaching Laozi : Comparing a Syncretic Reading to a Synthetic One[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2017, 12(1): 10-25.
 URL:  
http://journal.hep.com.cn/fpc/EN/10.3868/s030-006-017-0002-5
http://journal.hep.com.cn/fpc/EN/Y2017/V12/I1/10
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