Volume 15, 2008
The Philosophy of Yi
Reconstructing the Chinese Metaphysics
The New Chinese philosophy should face the main issues in traditional philosophy and modern philosophy. The biggest issue in traditional Chinese philosophy during the last 800 years is Xing (Nature) is Li 性即理 or Xin (Mind) is Li 心即理. The biggest issue in modern Western philosophy is how to fortify value in this
era of knowledge explosion. This paper tries to do some exploration on these issues through reconstruction the Chinese metaphysics. It puts forward a theory of Four Substances 四體說. The so called Four Substances include Yi Ti 易體 or the substance of Yi, Xing Ti 性體 or the substance of Nature, Xin Ti 心體 or the substance of Mind, and Dao Ti 道體 or the substance of the Way. The sphere of Yi 易 is the origin of the universe and the root of the world. The substance of Yi
is formed by three fundamental cosmic ideas or energies, namely Zhi 恉 or meaning, Li 理 or reason or principle, and Qi 氣 or matter. Zhi 恉 is the being of Value and meaning. Li 理is the being of knowledge. Zhi 恉 and Li 理 are forms, and Qi 氣 is matter. Yi Ti 易體 or the substance of Yi is an inexhaustible value source. Just like Confucianism has developed its Dao or the Way and Orthodoxy, other value systems in the world have also developed their own Dao or the Way and Orthodoxy.