有无 – Chinese philosophy and culture

yǒuwú 有无

You and Wu

“有无”有三种不同含义:其一,指个体事物的不同部分,实有的部分为“有”,空虚的部分为“无”;其二,指个体事物在生成、存在、消亡过程中的不同阶段或状态,既有之后、未消亡之前的状态为“有”,未有之前与既终之后的状态为“无”;其三,有形、有名的具体事物或其总和为“有”,超越一切个体事物的无形、无名的本体或本原为“无”。就第三个意义而言,有些哲学家认为“无”是世界的本体或本原,“有”生于“无”;另一些哲学家则认为“有”才是更根本的,反对“有”生于“无”。在“有无”对待的关系中,“有”与“无”既相互区别,又相互依赖。

The term has three definitions. First, it describes two different dimensions of things: One is with form and the other without form. Second, it refers to two different stages or states of a thing during its generation, existence, and demise. You (有) refers to the state of a thing after it has come into being and before it dies out; wu (无) refers to the state of a thing before its birth and after its death. Third, you refers to any tangible or identifiable thing or the sum total of such things; wu refers to the original source or ontological existence, which is intangible and unidentifiable, and transcends all specific objects. With regard to the third definition, some philosophers consider wu to be the original source or ontological existence of the world, and you comes from wu; others believe that you is fundamentally significant, and dispute the notion that you owes its existence to wu. Despite their differences, you and wu are mutually dependent.

引例 Citations:

◎故有之以为利,无之以为用。(《老子·十一章》)

(所以说事物“有”的部分带给人便利,“无”的部分发挥了事物的作用。)

Therefore, the with-form part of an object provides ease and convenience, whereas the without-form part performs the functions of that object. (Laozi)

◎有之所始,以无为本。(王弼《老子注》)

(“有”之所以肇始存在,以“无”为根本。)

The formation and existence of you originate from wu. (Wang Bi: Annotations on Laozi)

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