Based on the influential metaphysical concepts of yin-yang, dao, and li in traditional Chinese philosophy and a clarification of their metaphysical objects, methods, and purpose, Reconstructing Metaphorical Metaphysics in Traditional Chinese Philosophy: Meta-One and Harmony proposes three new metaphysical categories: Meta-One (元一), Multi-One (殊一), and Utter-One (全一). These categories describe three dynamic stages of development, which are associated with four dynamical models of harmony: potential and factual, temporary and permanent, partial and full harmonies, and four models of static harmonies (unitary, binary, ternary, and multiple). In order to outline methodological principles for metaphorical metaphysics, Derong Chen classifies general metaphysical methods into direct vs. indirect, positive vs. negative, and logical vs. metaphorical methods, and establishes various methodological principles based on the features of Meta-One, Multi-One, and Utter-One, respectively. Chen argues that this new system of metaphorical metaphysics is rooted in and developed from traditional Chinese philosophy and is the metaphysical foundation of natural, social-political, ethical, moral philosophy, and aesthetics in the twenty-first century.
Derong Chen teaches Chinese language and culture in the Department of Language Studies at the University of Toronto Mississauga.
Chapter 1. Metaphorical Metaphysics: Object, Method, & Purpose
Chapter 2. Meta-One, Multi-One, and Utter-One
Chapter 3. Corresponding Harmony in Meta-One
Chapter 4. Methodological Principles of Metaphorical Metaphysics
Chapter 5. Meta-One: Metaphysical Foundation of Chinese Philosophy
Ranging widely across the Chinese philosophical tradition, Derong Chen’s Reconstructing Metaphorical Metaphysics presents a provocative approach to the centrality of metaphors in Chinese metaphysical thinking. Chen aims to move the tradition forward by constructing new categories such as "Meta-One (yuanyi 元一),” inspired by the efforts of modern Confucian philosophers like Feng Youlan to further develop their tradition. Readers looking for new applications of Chinese or global philosophy will be intrigued by Chen’s creative reimagining of profound Chinese ideas.