Wang Pi

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Wang Pi


Born 226; died 249. Chinese philosopher. Representative of Hsüan-hsiuo (neo-Taoism).

In attempting to provide a synthesis of Confucianism and Taoism, Wang Pi utilized the concepts of Confucian moral philosophy in his commentaries on the treatise Lao-tsu, whereas in his commentaries on the I Ching he employed Taoist terms. The interpretation of the I Ching given by Wang Pi is that the world of dynamic being, which expresses itself in the completeness of constant change, should return to its foundation, the Tao, in order to attain a primal unity. “Nonbeing,” one of the basic concepts of Taoism, acquires in Wang Pi’s system the significance of absolute being, which, deprived as it is of any particular attributes, represents the source of everything that exists.


Petrov, A. A. Wang Pi. Moscow-Leningrad, 1936.
Hou Wai-lu [and others]. Chungkuo ssuhsiang t’ungshih, vol. 3. Peking, 1957. (A history of Chinese ideology.)
T’ang Yung-t’ung. “Wang Pi’s New Interpretation of the I Ching and Lun-yū.” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 1947, vol. 10, no. 1.


References in periodicals archive ?
Wang Bi suggests that it is better to embrace simplicity and the uncarved block (su pu).
For the third-century scholar Wang Bi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (226-49), visual images serve as a mediator between what is intended and what is expressed verbally:
Evidently Wang Bi is under the influence of the famous analogy in Zhuangzi, according to which words are to meaning what a basket trap is to a fish or what a snare is to a rabbit: "The purpose of having a basket trap is the fish; once the fish is caught the trap is forgotten.
but write that they "have also consulted and taken advantage of" the received Wang Bi (225-249 A.
647-63), Daoist master of the seventh century; and Wang Bi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (226-49).
In bringing out this aspect of the text, Porter counters the notion that the emphasis on darkness is strictly a late Han interpretation that originates with the Daoist master Wang Bi.
The best exponent of this topos is Wang Bi (226-249), who, in his treatise Ming xiang (Elucidating the Emblematic Image), establishes a semiotics of language based on the triangular relationship between xiang, yi, and yan (literally, emblematic image, idea, and word), advocating the Zhuangzian doctrine of forgetting" in the process:
Judging from this discourse, Wang Bi seems to be the first scholar in China to have laid down the semiotic foundation for the poetry-painting relationship, a fact that has hitherto passed unnoticed.
10)--the presence of the more familiar yan at the end of the Wang Bi and Mawangdui versions implies that an is simply a clause-final particle.
For both the Mawangdui [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and Wang Bi versions, I rely on Gao Ming [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Boshu Laozi jiaozhu [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Beijing: Zhonghua, 1996), 351.
Wagner's The Craft of a Chinese Commentator: Wang Bi on the Laozi)--and a clutch of half a dozen reviews, some quite thorough, some quitebrief.
While the essays came to be grouped under ten books or collections (Zhou Yi, Mao Shih, Zuo zhuan, Shiji, Laozi Wang Bi zhu, Liezi Zhang Zhan zhu, Jiaoshi Yilin, Chuci Hong Xingzu buzhu, Taiping guangji, and Quan Shanggu Sandai Qin Han Sanguo Liuchao wen), such a classification masks the wealth of reference and flexibility of topic to be found in any individual item.