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.

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