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Tracing the Source of the Idea of Time in Yizhuan

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By examining the propositions “waiting for the proper time to act”, “keeping up with the time”, “accommodating oneself to timeliness”, and “the meaning of a timely mean”, this paper examines the relationship between the idea of time conceived of in Yizhuan 易传 (Commentaries to the Book of Changes), Zuozhuan 左传 (Annals of Spring and Autumn with Zuo Qiuming’s Commentaries) and Guoyu 国语 (Comments on State Affairs) as well as the related thoughts of Confucianism, Daoism and the Yin-Yang School. It holds that on the foundation established by its predecessors, Yizhuan elevated time to its own category and made the first steps in establishing a theoretical system for time, making an important contribution to the enrichment and deepening of philosophical thought in the pre-Qin period.


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