Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Preface

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pp. vii-ix

It has taken many years, and several other books, to finish this study of which the present book is the first of three volumes. In fact, the writing of this study took as many years as Wang Bi, its subject, lived, namely twenty-three. Debts of gratitude for spiritual and...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-8

During my dissertation work on early Chinese Buddhist thinkers, especially Shi Daoan (312-385) and Shi Huiyuan (334-416), I found Buddhist arguments were often understood and expressed in a language originating in...

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Chapter One: Wang Bi: A Biographical Sketch

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pp. 9-26

Martin Heidegger is said to have reacted to a request by students to provide some introduction to Aristotle's life by starting his next lecture with the words: "Aristotle was born, worked, and died." He then continued to hold forth on the philosopher's philosophy....

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Chapter Two: The System of the Classics

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pp. 27-51

Wang Bi's biographers, as well as his opponents, have described him as a philosopher bent on establishing a coherent and systematic argument through his commentaries and treatises. In his "Biography of Wang Bi," He Shao writes...

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Chapter Three:Technique and the Philosophy of Structure: Interlocking Parallel Style in Laozi and Wang Bi

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pp. 53-113

Wang Bi's (226-49) commentary to the Laozi is not the first of its kind. By his time, the market was flooded with other commentaries, and Wang Bi's readers were most likely to have first read the Laozi through one or the other of these earlier commentaries...

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Chapter Four: Deconstructing and Constructing Meaning

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pp. 115-255

Wang Bi not only wrote commentaries on the Laozi and the Zhouyi, which have had a formative influence on the reading of these texts in later centuries down to the present; he is also the first commentator from whom texts are transmitted that outline the philosophic...

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Chapter Five: The Craft of Wang Bi's Commentary

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pp. 257-300

The general strategy of Wang Bi's commenting is to reduce to a minimum the ambivalence of the individual passages and terms of the text. This ambivalence was in practical fact evident in the coexistence of wildly varying readings of the very same words by...

Notes

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pp. 301-336

Bibliography

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pp. 337-350

Index

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pp. 351-361