Wang Pi

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 ?
35) Research by William Boltz, Rudolph Wagner, and others has clearly demonstrated that the edition of the text that now occurs with the Wang Pi : [UNKNOWN TEXT OMITTED] (22649) commentary is not from the original recension of Wang, but instead is extremely close in its readings to the extant Ho-shang-kung recension.
221-23, and "the Lao Tzu Text that Wang Pi and Ho-shang kung Never Saw," Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 48.
Besides, Taoism's most important early commentaries, those of Ho-shang Kung, Hsiang-erh, and Wang Pi on the Tao-te ching, are easily accessible to the Western reader.