The Political Thought of《Lao Tsu》
|Keywords:||道；虛；靜；反；弱；無為；自然||Issue Date:||Jun-1999||Journal Issue:||10||Start page/Pages:||171-194||Source:||政治科學論叢||Abstract:||
〈老子〉的政治思想是一組系統化的概念的連結：以「道」作為整個思想的指導，復次在「道體」和「道用」兩個主要面向上呈現，前者描述了「道」作為一個「本體」的概念， 後者則涉及了「道」作為「規律」的意含，顯然地，〈老子〉一書的政治思想主要是從「道用」的層次出發，然而不時又再向「道體」回歸； 「反」與「弱」談到了〈老子〉政治思想中的「消極」到「積極」的機轉，由「反」到「常」談的不是對立，而是一種關於本源的返復．「弱」強調的是對於人為事物的影響力的消解，為回歸自然的秩序預舖道路；「虛靜」的重點在於「觀復」，「觀復」則能「知常」，同樣的，「虛靜」復有治術上的強調意含，「嗇」談的是一種「早服」與「蓄積」亦即「圖其根然後營末」之意；「無為」是〈老子〉政治思想的主要概念，呈現出四個面向的開展；〈老子〉的政治思想正是在這些概念的連結下，試圖形塑一個「道治」的秩序。
《Lao Tsu》, as the most important text of Taoist School in pre-Ch'in times, was undoubtedly written down for political discourse. We can analyze the political thought of《Lao Tsu》by discussing several concepts. Fist of all, “tao” has the meaning of “being” as well as “application”. The former also denotes “origin”, the latter “ rule” or “the way”. There is somewhat “negative thinking” in《Lao Tsu》which emerges from the concepts “Fan” (opposition then return) and “Ruo” (weakness). These two concepts deal with the action (or doing) of tao–to dispel (“sun”-損). In the discourse of《Lao Tsu》,to dispel means to weaken the influence of power (in a broad sense) and to return to “the way”.
The concepts “xiu” (void, emptiness) and “jing” (still, on its own) emphasize the understanding of motion and the comprehension of the holly normal- “ch'ang” (常). By the understanding and comprehension, they also exemplify the skills to rule. “Se” has the significance to restrain or to prepare. By comparison with “xiu” and “jing”, “se” has somehow dialectically the positive implication. “Non-action”, being the most important concept in《Lao Tsu》, unfolds itself from four dimensions which reveal the spectrum of political doings. The political thought of《Lao Tsu》claims a balanced and harmonious order that can be built by the meaningful connection amid the concepts talked above. Owing to this perspective, we may name the constructed order of 《Lao Tsu》as “tao-chih” order (to rule of tao).
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