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DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-G016-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved June 08, 2023, from

Article Summary

Across the corpus of pre-Qin philosophical literature, de, conventionally translated as ‘potency’ or ‘virtue’, seems to have a fundamental cosmological significance from which its other connotations are derived. We begin from the pervasive assumption that existence is an uncaused, spontaneous process. It is ziran: so-of-itself. As a total field, this dynamic process is called dao; the individuated existents in this field – its various foci – are called de.

Citing this article:
Hall, David L. and Roger T. Ames. De, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-G016-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2023 Routledge.

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