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

  • Hao HongEmail author


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.


Dao 道 Featurelessness Ontological ground the Opposite 


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I would like to thank an anonymous reviewer and audiences at the 13th Annual Midwest Conference on Chinese Thought for their helpful comments.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and Honors CollegeUniversity of MaineOronoUSA

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