Shen Dao: Text, Translation, and Study
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PDF version: Translation of Shen Dao
PDF version: Study of Shen Dao
Recent work which I am happy with:
A number of chapters of the Daodejing closely resemble passages in Shen Dao.
Why I think that chapter 67-81 were the last chapters added and represent the views of the final author-editor. Why I think that the Dao chapters and the Sage chapters in Laozi represent different traditions.
I define an early layer of the Daodejing within which Dao is important, the Sage is relatively unimportant, and wu-wei is absent.
The worthy, identified with contention and rejected in the Daodejing, is contrasted to the sage.
Not the Daodejing, but related.
Good pieces that need some revisions for consistency with the above:
Chapters similar to the primitivist layer Graham found in Zhuangzi.
I conjecture that the final editor of the Daodejing deliberately dispersed and interspersed the various themes in chapters 1-66 so that the different tendencies of thought could resonate and blend, and that certain chapters (e.g. chapter 2 and chapter 57) were deliberate composites devised to resonate with as many other chapters as possible, thus stitching together a kind of unity.
The Nei Ye chapter of Guanzi studied by Harold Roth and the Daodejing. I believe that the Nei Ye tradition is one of the three sources of the Daodejing’s early layer, along with the Yang Zhu (Yang Chu) tradition and what Kirkland calls the “maternalist” tradition.
Older, require major revision, but valuable:
The Highest Virtue is Like A Valley, Taoist Resources, Vol. 3, #2, May, 1992, pp. 47-61.
The vitalist symbolism of ”the Valley” and “Virtue” in the Daodejing.
Yangchu’s Discovery of the Body, Philosophy East and West, Volume 46-4, October 1996, pp. 533-566.
Yang Zhu’s break with court life, the pursuit of glory and honor, and the ritual state led to a kind of individualism and was a necessary preliminary to the development of self-awareness and the disciplines of self-cultivation.
Continues the previous discussion about the development of personhood and individualism in China, its connections to the rationalization and modernization of government of that era, and its traces in Chinese philosophy.
Reciprocity, a key idea in traditional Chinese culture (and many other traditional cultures) takes many forms — ethical, social, philosophical, cosmological. I show how reciprocity is in several different ways central in the Daodejing.
I don’t know how seriously this should be taken, but I feel that I made a plausible and original case.