The Principle of Tao

Tao philosophy describes the order of nature and defines the principle of that order. Tao refers to the natural, spontaneous harmony of the universe, so Tao philosophy is a Philosophy of Nature. Nature is in the phenomenal world. This principle may be shown in the proper order of the myriad things. It is difficult to discuss directly this order of nature, since the sole characteristic of this order is Oneness. However, we can see this principle in the proper interrelations of the myriad things in the nature. In other words, our proper views on nature can reflect the proper order of nature.

The principle of Tao may be summarized as the Principle of Oneness. When we understand this principle, some of our traditional views on Tao can be re-affirmed, but many other speculations are clearly unwarranted. Our immediate validation of this principle will be a logical interpretation of the Tao Te Ching. However, this principle is universal and we can see the same principle in many other philosophies. We may conclude that Tao philosophy is not a Chinese-only philosophy. It is a principle shared by many Eastern and Western philosophies.

Since this principle is fundamental in our reasoning, our analytic approach may be used in many other philosophical discussions. For example, the model shows how the objects can participate in the forms in the Theory of Forms of Plato. The similarity of Tao philosophy to other ancient philosophies, Parmenides and Plotinus in particular, is also astonishing. The principle of Tao is also consistent with many modern Western philosophical observations, such as by Schelling, Kant, Bradley, and Whitehead, etc.

Our model also shows the similarity between the logic of Tao philosophy and quantum theory; both are based on complementarity of the opposites in their descriptions of nature.

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5 Responses to The Principle of Tao

  1. charlie atkins says:

    What a great project. Congratulations. I hope to read more of your reconnaissance of this fascinating examination of Oneness.

  2. Dear Professor Wang,

    I have just completed reading /The Logic of Tao Philosophy/ with great interest in connection with my work on the non-linguistic, non-truth-functional logic of Stéphane Lupasco (Bucharest, 1900 – Paris, 1988). In contrast to standard formal logic, the former, grounded in physics, has many direct relations to the Chinese system. A major difference, which requires study, is that the Lupasco system (which I call Logic in Reality-LIR includes potentialities as well as actualities in a dynamic interaction, The Principle of Dynamic Opposition, cf. my book /Logic in Reality/. 2008. Dordrecht: Springer). I would welcome the opportunity of discussing this with you, since I feel this principle is not incompatible with Oneness but a key part of it. It provides a dynamic structure to ‘complementarity’.

    Thank you and kind regards,

    Les Diablerets, Switzerland
    Associate Director, International Center for the Philosophy of Information, Xi’An Jiaotong University, Xi’An, China

    • dynamictao says:

      Preface (added to Logic of Tao Philosophy Page)

      The purpose of this work is to discuss the relationship between systems thinking and the logic of Tao philosophy. We show that Tao philosophy, along with many other ancient philosophies, may be understood in terms of systems. Systems view is another good way to understand the logic in Tao philosophy.

      Systems thinking has become a platform to discuss science, living organisms, sociology, and psychology, and philosophy. Reality may be considered as a complex system of various concepts. Both systems and reality are based on the concept of wholeness. A reality is self-making and self-preserving like a living system.

      Systems thinking is a complex issue and has been recently reviewed in great details by Capra and Luisi. The theme was first introduced by Bertalanffy and Bogandov in the 1920s. Readers may refer Capra and Luisi for the complexity of systems thinking. We shall only be interested in the very basic characteristics of systems thinking. We are concerned only with the logic in the way we think of nature and the systems.

      A systems theory starts with the function of a system and then identifies the network of the subsystems to support the function. This is rather similar to the philosophical inquiry about reality, where we think of a reality and identify the propositions that can support the reality.

      (More on Logic of Tao Philosophy pages)

      • dynamictao says:

        I have posted Introduction (Chapter 1) of Systems Thinking and Logic of Tao Philosophy.
        This is a good conclusion of the studies on the Logic of Tao Philosophy.
        The book should be available soon on Amazon.
        I do not have an editor, but I venture to publish it so it can be shared for comments.

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