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DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-G026-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved June 16, 2024, from

Article Summary

Yin and yang always describe the relationships that obtain among unique particulars. Originally these terms designated the shady side and the sunny side of a hill, and gradually came to suggest the way in which one thing ‘overshadows’ another in some particular aspect of their relationship. Any comparison between two or more unique particulars on any given topic is necessarily hierarchical: one side is yang and the other is yin. The nature of the opposition captured in this pairing expresses the mutuality, interdependence, hierarchical relationship, diversity and creative efficacy of the dynamic relationships that are immanent in and give value to the world. The full range of difference in the world is deemed explicable through this pairing.

Citing this article:
Ames, Roger T.. Yin–yang, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-G026-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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