qì 气 – Chinese philosophy and culture

qì 气

Qi (Vital Force)

独立于主观意识之外的物质实体,是构成一切有形之物的原始物质材料,同时也是生命和精神得以发生和存在的基础。此外,某些思想家还为“气”赋予了道德属性。“气”没有具体的形状,永远处于运动变化之中。“气”的凝聚意味着事物的生成,“气”的消散意味着事物的消亡。“气”贯通于所有有形之物的内外。哲学意义上的“气”与常识性的“气体”概念不同,“气体”指各种非液体、非固体的存在;而从哲学层面来看,液体、固体既是有形之物,其生成、存在也是“气”凝聚的结果。

Qi (vital force) has a material existence independent of subjective consciousness and is the basic element of all physical beings. It is also the basis for the birth and existence of life and spirit. In addition, some thinkers have given a moral attribute to qi. Qi is in constant motion and change, and has no specific shape. Its concentration gives birth to a thing and its evaporation signals the end of that thing. Qi permeates all physical beings and their surroundings. Qi, as a philosophical concept, is different from what is commonly understood by the word qi (气), namely, air. Although things in liquid or solid form are different from things in air form, from the perspective of the ancient Chinese philosophy, their formation and existence are the results of the concentration of qi.

引例 Citations:

◎通天下一气耳。(《庄子·知北游》)

(贯通天下万物的就是一个“气”罢了。)

It is qi that permeates everything under heaven. (Zhuangzi)

◎天地合气,万物自生。(王充《论衡·自然》)

(天地之气相互交合,万物自然而生。)

The convergence of qi of heaven and that of earth gives life to all things. (Wang Chong: A Comparative Study of Different Schools of Learning)

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