Zhong Hui’s Laozi Commentary and the Debate on Capacity and Nature in Third-Century China
Alan K. L. Chan 陳金樑
Zhong Hui (A.D. 225–264) was a major, albeit neglected ﬁgure in third-century Chinese intellectual history. Author of a Laozi commentary and a treatise on the relationship between “capacity” (cai) and “nature” (xing), Zhong Hui played a signiﬁcant role in the development of xuanxue (Learning of the Mysterious Dao), which came into prominence during the early Wei dynasty and dominated the Chinese intellectual scene well into the sixth century. This essay presents a reconstructed version of Zhong Hui’s Laozi commentary and compares Zhong’s approach with Wang Bi’s. Zhong Hui’s work on “capacity and nature” (caixing) captures a major debate in early xuanxue philosophy and will be scrutinized also in this discussion.
Last Updated: 9/28/11