Open Virtue, Closed Propriety: Considerations on Daoism and Bergsonism

No consideration of parallels between Daoism and Bergsonism has been accomplished. Yet there is a profitable comparison to be made between the ancient Chinese philosophy of the Dào Dé Jing and the more contemporary work of French philosopher Henri Bergson. Each philosophy concerns a creative force that flows through the material world. Furthermore, both philosophies arose during a bellicose period of ancient Chinese and modern European history. Finally, each understands the limits of language to say what is most important about reality. However, neither shrinks from sharing what can be shared in language to uncover a philosophical examination of life. This paper hopes to spur other thinkers toward engaging in a sustained dialog between Daoism and Bergsonism.

Abnormal Responses: Coaxing Animal Being into a Clearing

There is a great responsibility in being those who not only name things but gather the world. Surely a part of that responsibility rests in letting things simply be themselves and not be turned toward some human end. It means being silent alongside those who do not speak words yet nonetheless are worthy of having their expressions heeded–howsoever they may present themselves as real—if abnormal—responses. So we do not share the full power of language with other entities. We do share mobility and sensation with animals. And with all forms of life—including plants, fungi, etc.—we share the need for nourishment.

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