The World-Conception of the Chinese: Their Astronomical, Cosmological and Physico-Philosophical Speculations

By Alfred Forke | Go to book overview

an estimate most likely based on the putative circumference of heaven = 730,000 Li. All stars, in his opinion, consist of the finest water essence of the original fluid(l).

The pregnancy of an empress mother may eventually be brought about by a shooting star quite as well as by the sun. The mother of the mythical emperor Chuan Hsü saw the Yao kuang star pass through the moon, and afterwards gave birth to the emperor(m). The mother of the emperor , prior to her pregnancy, had beheld a falling star enter into the Pleiades and subsequently dreamt that she swallowed a magic pearl(n).


B. MODERN TIMES.

Chinese philosophy and the sciences combined with it had a renaissance in the Sung dynasty beginning in the 10th century. From this date on we may count the modern times of Chinese sciences. As by the Sung philosophers Confucianism was rejuvenated, so in their speculations on the philosophy of nature they likewise resumed the old ideas about the shape, the origin and the formation of the universe and further developed them. In so doing they try, as far as possible, to remain in accordance with the old classics. The basic notions remain the same and are only expanded.

____________________
(l)
T'u-shu chi-ch'êng,, chap. 55, 12, 6 v.
(m)
Bamboo Annals, chap. 1..

-101-

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The World-Conception of the Chinese: Their Astronomical, Cosmological and Physico-Philosophical Speculations
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction. v
  • Contents ix
  • Book I. the Universe 1
  • A. Ancient Times. 3
  • B. Modern Times. 101
  • Book Ii. Heaven. 131
  • B. Religious-Philosophical Viewpoint. 133
  • B. Religious-Philosophical Viewpoint. 147
  • Book Iii. Yin and Yang. 161
  • A. Ancient Times. 163
  • B. Modern Times. 200
  • Book Iv. the Five Elements. 225
  • By the Same Author. i
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