A few words about modern sciences and philosophy may be appropriate as part of our summary. Many traditional Tao scholars naturally believe that Tao philosophy should not be associated with any systematic or scientific analysis because there is no logic in Tao philosophy. We have shown that such a belief is no longer valid. We can have a definite logic structure in Tao philosophy and this logic is consistent with sciences. Lao-tzu is not against sciences.

However, there may be misconception that philosophy and sciences are two separate enterprises. As we have shown, the principle and the logic of Tao philosophy can be expressed in “scientific models” and our basic thinking is very similar in science and philosophy.

In sciences, the objects and their interactions are held together with a scientific theory. The basic assumption of science is also the non-dualistic order of nature. The concept of Oneness is often embedded in the various “symmetry” properties or the conservation laws of a scientific theory. Both scientists and philosophers search for the same unity of all in nature.

Scientific progress is made when consolidations are achieved towards Oneness of nature. At a high level, we may consider the success of quantum theory and relativity is our achievement to eliminate duality of “particles and waves” and “space and time,” respectively.[1] The objects in our model are “entangled” in reality – in the same way that paired particles are entangled in quantum theory. Space and time become complementary in relativity.

The mysteries of Tao philosophy and the mysteries of quantum theory are similar; they are the complementarity of opposite objects. This is a common phenomenon due to re-integration of two opposite objects. Complementarity is a convenient way to describe quantum phenomena and the phenomena of Tao.

Modern sciences and Tao philosophy deal with different sets of objects, but their basic principle is the same. Our model is consistent with the logical analysis of the method of physical theory, as discussed by Duhem [Duhem 1991].[2] Our model is a convenient abstract system to summarize and classify logically the order of nature observed by Lao-tzu.

In Tao philosophy, our traditional thinking habits are infected with dualistic pitfalls, but they can now be avoided. Our formulation can serve as a useful guide to break away from traditional thinking habits. The “scientific” model is a convenient vehicle to re-orient our thinking. We can gain from both science and philosophy to overcome the difficulty in our language.

[1]     Huinan-tzu (Time and Space) 卷十一 齐俗训: 往古来今谓之宙,四方上下谓之宇,道在其间,而莫知其所。若夫是于此而非于彼,非于此而是于彼者,此之谓一是一非也。此一是非,隅曲也;夫一是非,宇宙也。

[2]     “The observation of physical phenomena does not put us into relation with the reality hidden under the sensible appearances, but enables us to apprehend the sensible appearances themselves in a particular and concrete form.” [p.7]

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