Philosophy Compass 11 (11):621-631 (2016)

In recent years, philosophical ideas developed during the Wei-Jin period, broadly referred to as xuanxue in Chinese and ‘Neo-Daoism’ or ‘Dark Learning’ in English, have been accorded increasing attention in academia. This article provides an introduction to some major thinkers of the Wei-Jin period, addressing both their original writings and recent scholarly interpretations. The article aims to demonstrate that many Wei-Jin period intellectuals formed their theories through reinterpreting the relationship between texts associated with Daoism and Confucianism. Thinkers of this period often attempted to show how these defining ‘schools’ of pre-Qin Chinese thought did not propose theories that were fundamentally inconsistent, and that their ideas could be woven together as elements of a coherent view. This intellectual movement can thus be, and often has been, viewed as an attempt to integrate Daoism and Confucianism. However, a more nuanced reading demonstrates that these thinkers were reworking the relationship between what were seen as predominately Daoist or Confucian themes from their very foundation. Accordingly, the common description of Wei-Jin thinkers as ‘Daoist’ is decidedly incongruous.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/phc3.12344
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,379
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy.A. C. Graham & Wing-Tsit Chan - 1964 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 84 (1):60.
Daoism and Wu.David Chai - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (10):663-671.
Meontology in Early Xuanxue Thought.David Chai - 2010 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 37 (1):90-101.
Great Dream and Great Awakening: Interpreting the Butterfly Dream Story.Xiaomei Yang - 2005 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 4 (2):253-266.
Musical Naturalism in the Thought of Ji Kang.David Chai - 2009 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 8 (2):151-171.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Daoist Philosophy.Ronnie Littlejohn - 2016 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Daoism, Nature and Humanity.David E. Cooper - 2014 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 74:95-108.
A Sketch of the Daoist Character.Xiao Jiefu - 1998 - Contemporary Chinese Thought 30 (1):58-74.


Added to PP index

Total views
31 ( #370,915 of 2,519,679 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #406,314 of 2,519,679 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes