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Classical And Modern Readings Of Laozi's Ziran

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Chapter Summary

Ziran is the core concept of Daoist thought. This concept can easily give rise to a variety of understandings and ambiguities. This chapter focuses on reading texts related to Laozi, and expounds on the classical meaning of Laozi's Ziran on three different levels. It explores the significance that these three levels of meaning should or could produce in modern society. The chapter asserts that the essential or core significance of Laozi's Ziran is the concept of humanist nature. This approach is not adopted for its novelty, but rather to fundamentally reveal and emphasize the basic ideological spirit of Laozi's Ziran and thus avoid various misunderstandings. Also, it is intended to open a possible channel for the application and development of Laozi's philosophy in modern society. To mention humanist nature in this way almost seems strange, as it is often believed that human culture and nature are generally at odds.

Keywords: Daoist thought; humanist nature; Laozi; modern society; philosophy; reading texts; Ziran



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