Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
one of the most important categories of Chinese philosophy. The literal meaning of “tao” is “path.” Confucius and the early Confucians gave an ethical meaning to the term, interpreting it as “man’s path,” that is, moral conduct and the social order based on morality. In the philosophy of Taoism, the term “tao” has acquired an on-tological. rather than an ethical, meaning, which has come to signify both the original cause of the universe and its basis, the mysterious and unknowable regularity and wholeness of life. In the philosophy of neo-Confucianism, the term “tao” is usually identified with the term “li” (“principle”) and is counterposed to the material substratum ch’i. The founder of the rationalist system of neo-Confucianism, Chu Hsi, emphasized the identity of man’s tao with that of the surrounding world.
REFERENCESKonrad, N. I. “Filosofiia kitaiskogo Vozrozhdeniia.” In his book Zapad i Vostok. Moscow, 1966.
Bykov, P. S. Zarozhdenie obshchestvenno-politicheskoi ifilosofskoi mysli v Kitae. Moscow, 1966.
Fung Yu-lan. A History of Chinese Philosophy, vols. 1–2. Princeton, 1952–53.
V. A. RUBIN