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November 04 , 2008

Zhang Zai's Philosophy of Qi

A Practical Understanding


Qi (“vital energy”) is one of the most important concepts in Chinese philosophy and culture, and neo-Confucian Zhang Zai (1020-1077) plays a pivotal role in developing the notion. An investigation of his philosophy of qi is not confined to his particularity, but sheds light upon the notion of qi as it is understood within Chinese and East Asian thought in general. Yet, his position has not been given a thorough philosophical analysis in contemporary times. The purpose of this book is to provide a thorough and proper understanding of Zhang Zai’s philosophy of qi. Zhang Zai’s Philosophy of Qi: A Practical Understanding focuses on the practical argument underlying Zhang Zai’s development of qi that emphasizes the endeavor to create meaningful coherence amongst our differences through mutual communication and transformation. In addition to this, the book compares and engages Zhang Zai’s philosophy of qi with John Dewey’s philosophy of aesthetic experience in order to make Zhang Zai’s position more plausible and relevant to the contemporary Western audience.
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