Zhongdaology: A Confucian Way of Philosophical Thinking and Moral Life

Abstract

Due to the differences of languages, “ontology” in its original Western sense has not been conceptualized in ancient China. The most prominent and unique feature of Confucian philosophy in early ancient China is “Zhongdaology” instead of “ontology”. Zhongdaology is the philosophical inquiring for the way of “Zhong”, which is based on all the primordially related semantic meanings embodied in the Chinese character “zhong”. Zhongdaological philosophy indicates an association between human beings and their world, a coincidence between subjectivity and objectivity, a harmony of internal world and external world, an intersubjective perspective between self and others, an equilibrium among different ideas and divergences. Zhongdaology advocates inclusiveness and harmony when dealing with conflicts and contradictions. The rich historical and cultural background of Zhongdaology enriches it with profound philosophic significance, and makes it a general philosophy of Confucianism. Zhongdaology not only provides a Confucian approach to some fundamental ontological and epistemological issues, a philosophical methodology for establishing ethical norms, moral standards, social justice and political principles, but also provides an angle to understand certain aspects of Chinese way of life.

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