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One and ManyA Comparative Study of Plato's Philosophy and Daoism Represented by Ge Hong$
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Ji Zhang

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835545

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835545.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

The One

The One

(p.183) Chapter 8 The One
One and Many

Ji Zhang

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines how the One shapes different progenies of the One, and the One unfolds its essence into the plural existence of the many. This is the first argument concerning Ge Hong's two eggs theory in the context of various astronomical writings. This cosmogonical answer to the “one and the many” problem basically rejects Plato's doctrine of creation. In particular, Forms cannot be ontological permanents; they can only have relative permanency in the evolving cosmos. Ge Hong's second major argument involves the critical reading of the World Soul. The composite Soul is designed to be a solution to bridge the gap between Being and Becoming. Compared with Ge Hong's method of “two matching talismans,” Plato's natural studies are set within the limits of his idealism.

Keywords:   Ge Hong, two eggs theory, Plato, Forms, World Soul, natural studies, Platonic idealism

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