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DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-G028-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved May 18, 2024, from

Article Summary

Fa is a technical term in a variety of Chinese philosophical traditions. As a noun it means ‘standard’ or ‘norm’, and, by extension, ‘law’. As a verb it means ‘to be in accord with’. The disagreements among the various indigenous schools tended to focus on the origin and nature of fa, whether it is an order or pattern within things or an external pattern to which things conform. When Buddhism entered China, translators often used fa for rendering the Sanskrit term dharma. Depending on context, the Buddhist term could refer to true teachings, moral duty, phenomenal reality or rule.

Citing this article:
Kasulis, Thomas P.. Fa, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-G028-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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