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.
REFERENCESPetrov, 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.
V. A. RUBIN