6. Debates on Yu and Wu 有無之爭

(excerpts from the Dynamic Tao and Its Manifestations)

Many schools of Chinese philosophy resulted from intensive debates on the concepts of Wu and Yu during and after the Wei and Jin dynasties魏晉時代 (269-534).

6.1 The Pro-Wu and Pro-Yo Groups

A Pro-Wu group 貴無派emphasized Wu as the essence of Tao, and thus minimized the importance of Yu, to the extent that Yu was treated as deviations from Tao. This group is represented by Ho An &#晏 (193-249) and Wang Bi 王弼 (226-249).

The other group, the Pro-Yo group 崇有派, emphasized the importance of Yu as the way to reach harmony with heaven. This group, represented by Shiang Shiu 向秀 (227-272) and Kuo Shiang 郭象 (252-312), considered Wu too mysterious to provide guidance. The Pro-Yo group claimed that the explicit teachings (as Yu) represented the ultimate the Tzujan 名教即是自然.

6.3 Laotzu's Unified Theory

In Laotzu’s formalism, Wu and Yu appear with equal importance. Tao is clearly Pro-Wu and Pro-Yu. Our model provides a foundation to ease the historical debates on Wu and Yu, based on the words of Laotzu.