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The Metaphysics of Dao in Wang Bi’s Interpretation of Laozi

Authors
  • Hong, Hao1
  • 1 University of Maine, Department of Philosophy and Honors College, 5776 The Maples, Orono, Maine, 04469, USA , Orono (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Dao
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Publication Date
Apr 06, 2019
Volume
18
Issue
2
Pages
219–240
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s11712-019-09657-4
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Wang Bi 王弼 develops a metaphysic of Dao 道 in his Commentary on Laozi (Laozi Zhu 老子注) and “The Structure of Laozi’s Subtle Pointers (Laozi Zhilue 老子指略).” I summarize this metaphysic as the following thesis: Dao is featureless and is the ultimate reason why the myriad things exist and are the ways they are. I develop a systematic account of this thesis: I provide an interpretation of the featurelessness of Dao and show how Dao’s featurelessness relates to its fundamental explanatory role as the ontological ground for the myriad things.

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