Chinese “Dao” and Western “Truth”: A Comparative and Dynamic Perspective

Keqian Xu

Abstract


In the Pre-Qin time, pursuing “Dao” was the main task in the scholarship of most of the ancient Chinese philosophers, while the Ancient Greek philosophers considered pursuing “Truth” as their ultimate goal. While the “Dao” in ancient Chinese texts and the “Truth” in ancient Greek philosophic literature do share or cross-cover certain connotations, there are subtle and important differences between the two comparable philosophic concepts. These differences have deep and profound impact on the later development of Chinese and Western philosophy and culture respectively. Interestingly, while the modern Chinese philosophy has gradually accepted and established the Western conception of “Truth” on its way towards modernization, the “post-modern” Western philosophy is just undergoing a process of deconstructing its traditional concept of “Truth”, thus, in a certain sense, going closer to the traditional Chinese “Dao”. From a comparative, relative and dynamic perspective, there could possibly be a fusion of horizon between the Chinese “Dao” and the Western “Truth”.

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Asian Social Science   ISSN 1911-2017 (Print)   ISSN 1911-2025 (Online)

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