By Jiayan Zhang
Is the realm one or many? Ji Zhang revisits this old philosophical query from the fashionable viewpoint of comparative reviews. His research phases an highbrow alternate among Plato, founding father of the Academy, and Ge Hong, who systematized Daoist trust and praxis. Zhang not just captures the stress among rational Platonism and abstruse Daoism, but additionally creates a bridge among the 2.
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Additional info for One and Many: A Comparative Study of Plato’s Philosophy and Daoism Represented by Ge Hong
The key to advancing beyond Heidegger’s Dasein (being-there) is to argue that cosmogony is eternal. The act of “from nothing into being” is creative, implies self-change of the Dao, and therefore is what is always being-there in the changing world. Moreover the genealogical OM is not just a once-and-for-all change that happened at the very beginning of time, but a process that unfolds in every moment of time. Chinese scholarship should not give away this core argument in the face of modern phenomenology; seeking acceptance by the West must not come at the expense of identity loss.
The modern scholar Tang Yijie 湯一介 has made a crucial correction to Wang Ming’s disassociation of Ge Hong and the School of Xuan: “At the time of Ge Hong, the School of Xuan had already reached its intellectual peak. ’ It is the ultimate root out of which the myriad things proceed. ’ Here Xuan is the synthesis of nothing and something. ’”41 Tang’s argument is inspirational. But how does Ge Hong’s “something and nothing” represent a view that is “different from that of Wang Bi and Guo Xiang”? 42 The suggestion “Xuan is the synthesis of nothing and something,” however, points in the right direction.
This point can only be understood when the imposed shadow of Marxist scientific materialism is removed from the ge hong’s doctrine of xuan dao9 ahistorical label of religious idealism. The following three sections are designed to develop these claims. Two Historical Comparisons: Yang Xiong and the School of Xuan For or against Yang Xiong? The works of Wang Ming and He Shuzhen represent two generations of Ge Hong study. Both commentators have made a claim without textual support. A brief historical comparison should demythologize the “mystic ontology” of Xuan and grasp its philosophical significance.
One and Many: A Comparative Study of Plato’s Philosophy and Daoism Represented by Ge Hong by Jiayan Zhang