Version: v1, Published online: 1998
Retrieved March 19, 2019, from https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/thematic/de/v-1
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.
Hall, David L. and Roger T. Ames. De, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-G016-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis, https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/thematic/de/v-1.
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