Abstract Lisa Raphals

This paper uses the Guanzi, Zhuangzi, Shiwen (Ten Questions) text from Mawangdui, and the Huangdi neijing (Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine) to reconsider two prevalent antinomies, one in early Chinese philosophy, and one in much (but not all) of Western philosophy. The first is that inner and outer are distinct realms and the second is that body and mind are constituted of distinct (and different) substances. Chinese medical and self-cultivation texts show body, mind and spirit as distinct but interpenetrating substances. These texts describe processes in which body, mind and spirit that challenge notions of inner and outer through the relations of qi 氣, jing 精 (vital essence), and spirit (shén 神). Putting all these together suggests a much more complex ecology of interaction between the person and the environment at all levels from the intake of nourishment through eating, drinking and breathing through a highly somatized view of the mind where the mind too participates in those interactions.