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Document Type(s):Journal Article
Article/Chapter Title:The Meaning of Te in the Tao Te Ching: An Examination of the Concept of Nature in Chinese Taoism
Journal Title:Philosophy East and West
Author(s):Chen, Ellen M
Date of Publication:1973
Annotation:Chen conducts an etymological examination of the less studied “te” and generally finds that the term has been wrongly interpreted as “virtue.” For Chen, this misinterpretation of the term as “virtue,” implies conscious effort. Chen argues that “te” should not be understood as a conscious human quality because it is actually more closely related to the concept of “nature” in Western philosophy. In the course of her argument, Chen conducts a valuable comparative analysis between Taoist and Confucian interpretations of “te,” provides constructive critiques of earlier Taoist scholarship focused on this topic, and offers a sound interpretation of te that offers new insight into its connections with current environmental ideas.
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