Naturalism: Tian and Qi

  • Alexus McLeod


In this chapter, I discuss Wang Chong’s supposed “naturalism”, in light of his views on concepts such as tian (nature), qi (vital essence), and ziran (spontaneity). I spend the first part of this chapter discussing the issue of naturalism in general and its applicability to early Chinese thought, and the question of whether Wang can be seen as developing a naturalist view as opposed to other metaphysical views in the Han. I then move on to discuss his views on the relationship between the operation of nature, spontaneous (or nonwilled) activity, and vital essence.

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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexus McLeod
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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