ã+è. The I aozi began to be called a 'classic' only from the period of the Han Sunryr,ny . The main issues of the Inozi, the book: r6l - PDF

Sunryr,ny The conclusion of this work is, frst, that the arguments of modern scholars are wrong in many ways concerning Lao Zi and his book the l ozi: second, where this study does not demonstrate that

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Sunryr,ny The conclusion of this work is, frst, that the arguments of modern scholars are wrong in many ways concerning Lao Zi and his book the l ozi: second, where this study does not demonstrate that these arguments are wrong, it does show that they are not compelling enough to ovenhrow the traditional position maintained concerning LaoZi and his book in this work. The modem work ends only in an unwârranted skepúcism and in hypotheses which lack good evidence. Concretely speaking, the arguments, issues and notions with which this work has dealt are as follows: l) Lao Zi's biography in Sima Qian's Slrryi is partly misunderstood in the Vy'est. 2) The recent theories concerninglaozí the man and the book called the Iaozi, which Liang Qichao and Feng Youlan initiated in opposition to the traditional opinion, have been wrongly accepted by Western schola s as authoritative conclusions. 3) The popular opinions in the West concerning LaoZi the man and the book called the Laozí are incorrect and should be modified. These issues have been discussed in this study with the conclusion that the most reasonable position to take in regard to Lao Zi and his book is the traditional one.. The main issues of the Inozi, the book: The editions The traditional version of the Laozi, also called the normal versions in the present work, r'.e., the versions of Yan Zun, Heshang Gong and Wang Bi, probably date from the end of the Spring and Autumn Period or the beginning of the Warring States Period, which places them in the 6th to 5th century BC. However, this traditional version has reveived later additions in the process of transmission. The Jingmen Bamboo Slips Zaozi is the oldest version thus far discovered. The Mawangdui silk texts and the Fu Yi version of the laozi were probabl-v from two different traditions. In this case, the Bamboo Slips Laozi was earlier than both the Silk texts and the Fu Yi version of he Laozi or was at least completed in the same period. One can suppose, therefore, that the silk text and the Fu Yi version were developed from the Bamboo Slips laazi. But this supposition cannot be validated until a new study and translation of the Laozi based on the Bamboo Slips texts is done. And this will be the task of the next part of this study. The titles and structure The Laozi ë7 is also called Daodejing Ëf,Éíg and Wuqianwen l.íì or Wuqianyan ã+è. The I aozi began to be called a 'classic' only from the period of the Han Dynasty. The book of lnozi is divided inro rwo parís; Daojing,iÊÆ or Daopian *ÉH, and Dejing l*æ or Depian lbë. V/e cannot easily discover the original order of the l o i, '.., wthether the Daojing comes before the Dejing, or the Dejing comes before the r6l Daojing. According to both the HanfeiTi #jf and the Mawangdui silk text, the Iaozi's Dejing ot Depian comes before Daojing or Daopian. However, a version in which the Daojing comes before tlæ, Dejing already appeared in the Former Han Dynasty. Generally believed is that the Inazi originally had no chapter divisions. No one knows who initiated the division the book into eighty-one chapters. However, the version of Heshang Gong f,l'/zr, dating from the Han Ë Dynasty, that of Wang Bi Effi from the Jin Ë Dynasty, and that of Fu Yi f 4 from the Tang Ë Dynasty as well as the present general transmitted version all consist eighty-one chapters. The literary style Concerning the style of. the Laozi's normal version, various opinions abound. Many parts of the book are rþmed, but it is not a real poem. Traditionally, it belongs to the part called z,?sin Sibu beiyao E#ffiF. The book is from one person's hand rather than many, because: 1) The systematization of the l-aozi's thought indicates a single author; 2) The first personal pronouns wo fü, andwu F refer to the author himself, and the complaints in the book is similar to that of Confucius and Qu Yuan,EF'; these indicate also a single author. The book has also reveived later additions in the process of transmission. The Laozi is a work from Chu Æ, because 1) The historical records have proved that it has its origin there; 2) The book has used Chu dialects; 3) The book demonstrates familiarity with the customs of Chu. The authorship There really was a man called Lao Dan ãffi, i.e.,li Er ã4, also called LaoZi ë,í, who was a contemporary of Confucius, i.e., in 6th century BC. This LaoZi was the author of the Laozi's original version. The original version of the Laozi was possibly different in some respects but similar on the whole to the traditional verrsion of the I oti which we possess today. But cleady most(?)72' of the speeches and words of Lao Zi as well as the main points of his thought can be found in the normal version of the Laozi. The t aditional version was possibly added by some other people, but they must have successfully ananged the words of Lao Ztand understood the spirit. The date Va ious hypotheses have been forwa ded concerning the date of the Laozi. According to the traditionâl opinion, the Inozi is from the end of the Spring and Autumn Period, i.e., in the sixth to fifth century BC. The new scholars represented by Liang Qichao have proffered various opinions which put rhe laozi at a later date. The main elements, such as the contemporary references, the terminology, the idea and the style of the book, tl! wc can question whether only some or mos of Lao Zi's speeches or words have been retained in rhe Lao:is present version. This cannot be answered bcfo e the study on the Jingmcn bamboo Slips.t^aari is completed. This will be done in the next pan ofthe present study. 162 have been involved in establishing the date of he l ozi. This study holds that Lao Dan did write a book at the end of the Spring and Autumn Period,.e., in the sixth to fifth century BC. This fact has been proven by an analysis of the arguments of Liang and his followers in respect to the contemporary references, the terminology, the idea, and the style of the book. Modern schola s, who have the new opinion face two problems. One is that their arguments have been proven wrong by recent discoveries in the ancient classics and in a chaeology. Another concems the logical problems plaguing their methodology. Speaking concretely, this study supports its opinion by showing: l) There are contemporafy references to the Laozi.2) Terms such as ren,-i, shangxian, and wancheng zhi zhu, which have been employed by Liang and his followers, stem from the Spring and Autumn Period; thus, they do not support the notion of the l ozi as a later work. 3) The ideas of the Laozi, which Liang and his followers say are too radical for the time of Lao Zi and Confucius, belong to the Spring and Autumn Period. 4) The style of the Iaozi, which Liang and his followers claim proves that the Inozi is a later work, does not in fact indicate such a later date. It shows instead that the l-aozi is a work stemming from the end of Spring and Autumn Period or from the beginning of the Warring States Period- The whole style characteristics and the re,eional Chu background of the lnozi as well as the contrasts among the Laozi, the Shijing and the Chuci are most relevant in showing this.. The main issues of Lao Zi the man: The names Lao Zí's surname was Lao Z, though it was, as four items of evidence shows, later chan-ged to Li S. His private names were Dan ffi and Er 4. He was called as Zi + as an honorary name meaning gentleman , scholar , or master . The native place LaoZi was a naúve of Chu Æ, which formerly belonged to Chen lh. Occupation He was an archivist of Zhou ffi, a contemporary of Confucius. The meeting with Confr cius Lao Zi did meet Confucius. Concerning the meeting, many different opinions have been offered. Liang Qichao and his followers reject that the meeting took place, arguing mainly from two points: one is the inconsistencies among the speeches of Lao Zi in the different recordsl the other concerns the reliability of the source that records the meeting. As to the first issue, the present work argues that though different speeches do occur in the different records, this fact cannot be employed to demonstrate as inconsistancy t63 in spirit. Indeed these speeches are not against the spirit ofthe l-aozi. As to the second issue, the present work argues that since Sima Qian uses a source tradition different from the Zhuangzi, the unreliability ofthe Zhuangzi cannot affect the reliability of the Såyi. On the otber hand, the Inner chapters of the Thuangzi, which is generally accepted as reliable, does record Lao Dan's death and his contemporary with Confucius; thus, Lao Dan must have lived before the writing of the Ztuangzi. Besides these points, one can refer to the Confucian records of meeting in the l,lji; Zengziwen, he Lüshi chunqiu, etc. No reliable reâsons compel us to deny the historicity of these records. The arguments of many modern scholars have been proved to be assumption rather than fact. The identification with LaoLaiZi Lao Zi and Lao Lai Zi Z*.+ were two different people. The identification with Lao Peng 'We can a rive at no certain conclusion conceming the identification benveen LaoZi and LaoPeng ZÐ. The identification with Taishi DAI{ Lao Zi Z7 nd Taishi DAli f *-fg were two different people. Lao Dan Z\H,.e., Lao Z), wâs a contemporary of Confucius; but Taishi DAN was a historian of Zhou, he had a meeting with Duke Xian of Qin *.Ë-tA during the period C. Theson oflao Zi,Zong Zong R was the son of another man. It is not unreasonable to suppose that the Grand Historian DAN t-èdþ was a historical figure, the father of Zong. Because of his similarit.v to Lao Dan in more respects than one, was confused with the son of the author of th o i. Generally speaking. then, a misunderstanding concerning the Laozi has plagued the 'West, based on a wrong-headed reliance on the theories of Liang Qichao, Feng Youlan and their followers. The argument of this study, however, demonstrates that arguments of scholars like Liang Qichao and Feng Youlan are weak, improperly supported, and ineffective. 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