Frontiers of Philosophy in China

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 360–369

Morality and nature: The essential difference between the Dao of Chinese philosophy and metaphysics in Western philosophy

Research Article
  • 80 Downloads

Abstract

Both thinkings on Dao in Chinese philosophy and metaphysics in Western philosophy investigate things on a spiritual level that transcends experience, but there are incommensurable differences between them. The objective of “metaphysics” is ontological knowledge about nature from the perspective of epistemological “truth-pursuing”. Western metaphysics is thus a “metaphysics of nature”. Dao in Chinese philosophy, on the other hand, more often manifests itself in “good-pursuing” by means of the internal, experiential pursuit of moral stature and spiritual security. Philosophy of Dao is thus a “metaphysics of ethics”. The cause of this difference can be traced back to the differences between the rational tradition of the West, characterized by the dualism of the subject and the object, and the moral tradition of China, characterized by the integration of man and nature.

Keywords

Dao metaphysics morality nature 

摘要

中国哲学的 “形上之道” 与西方哲学的 “形而上学” 都是对超经验的形上事物的研究, 但是两者存在着根本的不可通约的区别: “形而上学” 是着眼于从认识论求“真” 的角度来研究的关于自然本体论的“知识”, 即“自然形而上学”; 而 “形上之道” 更多地表现为求 “善” 的内心体验式的对道德境界的追求和精神寄托, 即“道德形而上学”。 产生区别的内在原因是传统西方以 “主客两分” 为特征的理性传统与传统中国以 “天人合一” 为特征的德性传统的不同。

关键词

形上之道 形而上学 道德 自然 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Aristotle (1999). Metaphysics (in Chinese). Beijing: Zhongguo shehui kexue chubanshe Dai Maotang (2001). Chuantong jiazhi guannian yu dangdai zhongguo 传统价值观念与当代中国 (Traditional View of Value and Present China). Wuhan: Hubei renmin chubansheGoogle Scholar
  2. Dampier (1975). A History of Science and its Relations with Philosophy and Religion (in Chinese). Beijing: Shangwu yinshuguan Descartes (1958). Philosophical Principles (in Chinese). Beijing: Shangwu yinshuguanGoogle Scholar
  3. Kant, I. (1997). Critique of Practical Reason. Cambridge: Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
  4. Kant, I. (2003). Critique of Pure Reason. New York: Palgrave MacmillanGoogle Scholar
  5. Lu Yusan (1987). Laozi shiyi 老子释义 (Paraphrasing Lao-tzu). Tianjin: Tianjin guji chubansheGoogle Scholar
  6. Mou Zongsan (1999). Xinti yu xingti 心体与性体 (Nature and Soul as Being). Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe Shen Shanhong (1998). Zhongguo lunli xueshuo shi 中国伦理学说史 (History of Chinese Ethics). Hangzhou: Zhejiang renmin chubansheGoogle Scholar
  7. Zhou Dunyi (2009). Zhou Dunyi ji 周敦颐集 (The Collected Works of Zhou Dunyi). Beijing: Zhonghua shujuGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of PhilosophyHubei UniversityWuhanChina

Personalised recommendations