Is Chinese cosmology metaphysics?
In literature about Chinese philosophy, there are two prevailing views: (1) Chinese philosophy lacks interest in metaphysical pursuit and is preoccupied with practical affairs; and (2) There is a rich cosmology in Chinese thought. However, when we put these two views together, we get a disturbing and puzzling result: (3) Chinese cosmology is not metaphysics. This paper seeks to address the question “is Chinese cosmology metaphysics?” by asking questions about the following three topics. (a) Is there a shared Chinese cosmology that is unique to Chinese tradition but is sharply different from Greek cosmology? (b) Precisely what is the nature of the elation between Chinese ethics and Chinese cosmology? (c) Chinese cosmology and the issue of being. Although a full discussion of the issue is beyond the scope of one paper, I will try to identify some major problems in outline. My approach is through a comparison between Chinese cosmology and Greek cosmology/metaphysics.
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