Wang Bi (Chinese: 王弼; 226–249), courtesy name Fusi (Chinese: 輔嗣), was a Chinese philosopher and politician. During his brief career he produced commentaries on the Tao Te Ching and I Ching which were highly influential in Chinese philosophy.[1][2]

Wang Bi
Died249 (aged 23)
Other namesFusi (輔嗣)
Occupation(s)Philosopher, politician
Wang Bi

Life edit

Wang Bi served as a minor bureaucrat in the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period. He died from an epidemic at the age of 23.[3][4]

Wang Bi's most important works are commentaries on Laozi's Tao Te Ching and the I Ching. The text of the Tao Te Ching that appeared with his commentary was widely considered the best copy of his work until the discovery of the Han-era Mawangdui texts in 1973. He was a scholar of Xuanxue.

Writings edit

At least three works by Wang Bi are known: a commentary on Confucius' Analects, which survives only in quotations; commentaries on the I Ching and the Tao Te Ching, which not only have survived but have greatly influenced subsequent Chinese thought on those two classics.

His commentary on the I Ching has been translated into English by Richard John Lynn, The Classic of Changes (New York: Columbia University, 1994) ISBN 0-231-08295-9

Several translations into English have been made of his commentary of the Tao Te Ching:

  • Ariane Rump, translator Commentary on the Lao Tzu by Wang Pi, Monographs of the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy, No. 6 (Honolulu: University of Hawaii, 1979) ISBN 0-8248-0677-8
  • Richard John Lynn, translator The Classic of the Way and Virtue; A New Translation of the Tao-te Ching of Laozi as Interpreted by Wang Bi (New York: Columbia University, 1999) ISBN 0-2311-0581-9
  • Rudolf Wagner, translator. A Chinese Reading of the Daodejing: Wang Bi's Commentary on the Laozi with Critical Text and Translation (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003) ISBN 0-791-45182-8

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Wang Bi". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 2023-07-20.
  2. ^ "Wang Bi". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2023-07-21.
  3. ^ Theobald, Ulrich. "Wang Bi 王弼 (". Retrieved 2023-07-21.
  4. ^ Wagner, Rudolf G. (2000-01-06). The Craft of a Chinese Commentator: Wang Bi on the Laozi. SUNY Press. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-7914-4395-8.

Works cited edit