Abstract

When it comes to the entity known as the Thing (das Ding), two philosophical interpretations are available: the ontological by Martin Heidegger and the ethical by Jacques Lacan. This essay offers a third in the guise of Daoist meontology. As Daoist cosmogony unfolds by way of nothingness (wu 無) and Dao acting in conjunction, the Thing cannot exist at that primal level of creation; it arises in the undifferentiated wholeness of the One. By locating the Thing as such, Daoism bestows upon it the mysteriousness of Dao, ensuring that it remains unspoiled by human endeavors and is a feat neither Heidegger nor Lacan can claim. The Thing thus protects Daoism against claims of nihilism, for each thing returns to its ancestral Thing, not to the nothingness that Dao employs to mold them.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1898
Print ISSN
0031-8221
Pages
pp. 303-318
Launched on MUSE
2014-04-14
Open Access
No
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