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Good article Laozi has been listed as one of the Philosophy and religion good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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Date Process Result
November 4, 2007 Peer review Reviewed
January 18, 2008 Good article nominee Listed
Current status: Good article
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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Laozi:
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some mention of the pronounciation?[edit]

zi is pronounced dzuh and i think that's notable —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:33, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

And how would one pronounce 'dzuh'? Is it /dzu/, /dza/, /dzə/ or /dzɑ/? From my knowledge of Mandarin (which is admittedly little, all I know is some phrases and words and how to count), I think zi is pronounced most like /dzə/, at least if one had to go with sounds found in the English language (I don't know how similar or different Mandarin vowels are to English vowels). Dzuh is ambiguous, while the IPA transcriptions I showed you are not. Therefore, it's not "notable". saɪm duʃan Talk|Contribs 07:12, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Since Mandarin is a tonal language you can't write it own like 'dzuh' since it contains no information about the tone. This is a third tone character, though context usually alters the actual pronunciation as you move from one character to another. See for examples of actual Chinese pronunciation in modern standard mandarin (though who knows how it would have been pronounced over the ages and in different parts of China). I should add that IPA transcriptions do not contain tonal information, which is absolutely necessary in mandarin - there are 5 separate ways of pronouncing 'zi' in standard mandarin all /dzə/ in IPA. Even this character has 2 different pronunciation depending on context (third tone and neutral tome) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:45, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
@Sam: -uh is always -ə. That said, it's not covered under HELP:RESPELL and most of the respell fonts are terrible, so we can just leave all that alone and use IPA.
@83: This is the neutral one, which means that the tone doesn't actually matter all that much, but thanks for the lecture. — LlywelynII 20:54, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
He's important enough and it's odd enough that we can include pronunciation data, but since there's a name section, let's try to keep the IPA eyesore down there. — LlywelynII 20:54, 17 January 2014 (UTC)


Re; the statement in the lead, ""Laozi is considered the first libertarian, according to Murray N. Rothbard." Here is a link to the Rothbard article. The article does not say that this is what libertarians think, Murray Rothbard was not an expert on Chinese history, he did not literally mean that Lao was a libertarian, and inclusion of his comments is absurd. Please show evidence that Rothbard's comments have received any attention in mainstream writing, or even in libertarian literature. TFD (talk) 15:00, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

The encyclopedia of libertarianism By Ronald Hamowy page 282 Darkstar1st (talk) 18:21, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
TFD, I'm afraid you're off the mark on this one. If you had looked over the article carefully, you would have seen that the information you're trying to remove from the lead has been in the article itself for almost four years. Rothbard is a WP:RS, a major libertarian philosopher, not at all fringe, and I don't think his statement about Lao Tzu is up for much interpretation. He called him a libertarian. That he wasn't literally a libertarian is immaterial, as the cohesive philosophy didn't exist yet. The point is that he espoused libertarian/individualist values. Having said that, I'm not sure it's necessary to mention it in the lead, as it is explained well in the article itself. A more general statement about it might be appropriate, but I think further discussion would be well advised first. Torchiest (talk | contribs) 19:20, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
The inclusion in the article is highly questionable, but inclusion in the lead is absurd. Lao is not remembered because Murray Rothbard wrote about him, except for people get all their information from the Mises organization website. I will invite wider input into this discussion. TFD (talk) 19:59, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
No one is claiming Lao is remembered because of Rothbard. The claim is that he is significant to libertarian thought, and notable libertarians have said as much. I'd also like to point out that this article had a peer review and passed a GA review, which means there are at least half a dozen editors (myself, Darkstar1st, Pulpculture (who added the original Rothbard material), as well as all the reviewers and editors who worked to get this to GA status) who think the Rothbard part should remain in the article body. Torchiest (talk | contribs) 20:56, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

RfC: should lead state mention Libertarianism?[edit]

Should the lead for the ancient Chinese philosopher Laozi (also spelled Lao Tse and Lao Tzu) mention that Murray Rothbard, an Austrian economist, once wrote that he was a libertarian? Should it even be mentioned in the article? TFD (talk) 20:00, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

An editor has added the following text to the lead: "Laozi is considered the first libertarian, according to Murray N. Rothbard." Here is a link to the Rothbard article. Rothbard had no expertise in Chinese history or philosophy and his views on Lao are non-notable. Even if they were, he did not mean this comment to be taken literally. TFD (talk) 20:04, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Murray Rothbard is a notable libertarian philosopher. One need not be an expert in Chinese history of philosophy to read the quotes in the article you linked, which include a lot of very straightforward anti-government sentiment. I agree putting it in the lead is probably a bit much, but it should definitely not be removed from the article itself. Your statement: "he did not mean this comment to be taken literally" is your own opinion on the matter, not a fact. We can only go by what the source says. The influences section of the article is detailed, and discusses Laozi's anti-authoritarianism in general. The libertarian remarks are appropriate in that context, and there is a balanced viewpoint in that section including an opposing view from Roderick Long, who discounts the ideas put forth by Rothbard and David Boaz, another notable libertarian. I'd advise reading the entire thing. Torchiest (talk | contribs) 20:15, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Do you have any evidence that these views are shared by experts on the Tao te Ching, Daoism or Chinese history or philosophy? Or is this just a case of someone picking out a quote they like? The Tao is often ambiguous. TFD (talk) 20:49, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
TFD, how long have you had an interest in Daoism? I was convinced you simply followed me here after you were over-ruled on the immigration to mexico deletions and edits by me? If you would like to discuss quotes, I suggest the singular quote cited in the "left" ref to libertarianism was a mistranslation of the French anarchist communist Joseph Déjacque, "libéral et non LIBERTAIRE" (liberal but not libertarian). IMHO, Dejacque was forming the French version of the term defined as "one who subscribes to the philosophy of liberty. Liberty is a concept of political philosophy and identifies the condition in which an individual has the right to act according to his or her own will. Classical liberalism, as understood in the time of Joseph Déjacque, is a political ideology that developed in the 19th century in Western Europe. It is committed to the ideal of limited government and liberty of individuals including freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and free markets. Today the term has been linked to income redistribution and "anti-property" rights, a term I reject.Darkstar1st (talk) 21:02, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Rothbard was an expert on libertarianism. He had the written word of Laozi. We have those quotes as well. Rothbard (as a notable, reliable source) stated his view. We're reporting it here, appropriately. What you're suggesting is infinite interdisciplinary cross-referencing of all subjects, which is impossible. Torchiest (talk | contribs) 21:11, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Darkstar1st, it has been a long time since I read the Tao te Ching, but I cannot remember anything about "freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and free markets". Perhaps you could explain where this is discussed. TFD (talk) 22:39, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps you are confusing my explanation about the primary source of "left" libertarianism, a solitary mistranslated, misinterpreted quote by Joseph Déjacque. "Freedom" was an attempt to explain Joseph Déjacque thinking. But, you have not addressed your recent interest, which I suspect was only because I had made an edit here. I will continue edits on different subjects, then we will all know if you follow me to other articles. Darkstar1st (talk) 22:52, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
You may do whatever you want but please do not use these pages to make personal attacks and accusations. TFD (talk) 00:18, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps you could explain what drew you to this article, as well as, "libertarianism", if not to critique/undo specifically, my edits, which you have attempted without success? At some point, when a WPian is over-ruled continuously, yet insists on undoing a specific person's edits, it becomes tiresome. Darkstar1st (talk) 01:41, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Again, could you please stop using talk pages for personal attacks. TFD (talk) 01:50, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Ok, but only so you can have a victory in our "edit war" as you called it, when you accused me of being a sockpuppet. You determination is admirable, but your delivery is transparent, and pathetically inept. Using your influence to silence WPians, which you do not agree, is sad. Following them from page to unrelated page, is borderline creepy. "You currently appear to be engaged in an edit war according to the reverts you have made on Libertarianism. Your name has been mentioned in connection with a sockpuppetry case." Darkstar1st (talk) 01:57, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

(Arbitrary outdent) Uninvolved editor here via the RFC. I don't see how a 20th-century American economist's characterization of Laozi's political positions--a characterization that is of necessity anachronistic (and I do not mean that in any way as a critique of Rothbard's assessment, but as a statement of my strong belief that applying 20th-century political labels to philosophers of the 6th-4th centuries BCE is at best an interesting intellectual exercise)--is lede-worthy. The proper place for this material is the "Influence" section (where, I note, the same information also appears). Rothbard's comments on Laozi, interesting though they may well be to in-depth scholars of either writer, are simply not among the most notable things about Laozi; it would be like including a 20th-century novelist's comments on Shakespeare in the lede to the Shakespeare article (Nabokov, for instance, wrote some interesting things about Shakespeare but I cannot imagine anyone thinking that those comments should go in Shakespeare's lede). IceCreamEmpress (talk) 02:09, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Do you consider Laozi as even having a political position/philosophy/party, if so, which? Darkstar1st (talk) 02:37, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
I do not personally see the utility of matching 20th-century political labels to the positions of philosophers who wrote 2,400 - 2,600 years ago, but I understand the argument Rothbard was making and do think it's potentially of article-level interest, though not of lede-level interest. IceCreamEmpress (talk) 17:04, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree completely. The article was fine as it was before we all came along, and doesn't need the addition to the lead. I think Darkstar1st was acting in good faith, but failed to notice that the article already contained the content he wanted to add. Torchiest (talk | contribs) 03:33, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose Please do not inject modern conservative propaganda into articles about ancient philosophers. This titbit of info on the views of Rothbard has no place here. I have read Tao Te Ching and other Taoist works, eg Chuang Tzu, and it has nothing to do with Libertarianism. OMG, I see that someone has inserted a section on Rothnard's views into the Chuang Tzu article as well! POV pushing going on here. ► RATEL ◄ 04:53, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
I think saying Rothbard considered him an anarchist with a proper citation is okay, but there is way too much other material that shouldn't be in there. I'm going to fix that. Thanks for the heads up. Torchiest (talk | contribs) 05:09, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
The Revision as of 17:49, 6 November 2009 Chuang Tzu, and prolly way before had Rothbard. Ratel, you are at least 6 months behind here. If anything was "inserted", it was before rip van winkle took his rest. Darkstar1st (talk) 11:54, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
please start here: Chinese_philosophy if you wish to remove "modern conservative propaganda" in WP about, "ancient philosophers". Words like democracy, republicanism, and industrialism, as well as, marxism and communist litter this article, as well as all other philosophy tidbits in WP. Rothbard specifically said, Libertarian, anarchist does not appear in his writ. Darkstar1st (talk) 12:24, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
No. It's sufficently relevant to the present to have a sentence, if all three or more refs to this so far mentioned on the Libertarianism talk page. But not in the lead unless libertarians worldwide adopt the Taoism symbol and start putting his picture on all their web pages. :-) CarolMooreDC (talk) 16:15, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
RfC Comment--Oppose This characterization of Laozi does not belong in the lead and seems also out of place in the "Influences" section. I'm not saying it can't be in the article but not sure where it belongs. The lead is a summary of the article, not a collection of misc info about the subject. Whereeve it ends up. I don't like the current wording since Laozi has no birth and death dates and is considered by some to be mythical. In addition, I believe he lived long before the concept of Libertarians. So wherever the info is placed it needs to be reworded to reflect the context of the comments by these authors that say the subject is the "first Libertarian".-- KbobTalk 23:40, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
I found an example of a philosopher who founded a political philosophy before it was invented also. His achievement is mentioned in the 1st sentence: Karl Marx was a German philosopher, ... , whose ideas are credited as the foundation of modern communism. Darkstar1st (talk) 00:32, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
RfC Follow Up Comment: That's a better way to phrase the info ie. "Laozi's philosophy is said by Rothbard to form the basis of Libertarian thought", assuming that's accurate with the source. However, it still doesn't belong in the lead as it is not a significant subtopic in the article.-- KbobTalk 18:04, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I also oppose inclusion of the Rothbard material in the lead, and probably in the article as a whole. There may be a place in the Influence section if multiple sources agree that Laozi has had demonstrable and notable influence on (not just comparison with) libertarian philosophy, but I don't see that now.

Also, Darkstar1st, adding article-markup tags to people's comments on the discussion page is not appropriate. I have removed the ones you added to Ratel's post. /ninly(talk) 14:21, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Ninly, the correct term is, "template message", and I am unable to verify your claim after re-reading the: Darkstar1st (talk) 15:39, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Call them what you will, but review the information at WP:TPO about editing the comments of other Wikipedians. /ninly(talk) 17:42, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
I call them what WP calls them. I do not see any information about template messages on the WP:TPO? Darkstar1st (talk) 17:50, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
I think the main point is that it is improper to amend other editors comments. And I would agree that adding [according to whom?] after selected sentences is not helpful to the discussion. I assume that that you did this in good faith but now you hopefully realize its not appropriate. However you should feel free to respond and question other editors comments in your own posts. Thanks! :-)-- KbobTalk 17:58, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Disagree, I do feel it is appropriate, but have agreed to stop until a more elegant method of asking for a citation in discussion can be created. Darkstar1st (talk) 18:33, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

I removed the Rothbard part from the lead. I think, again, there is a solid amount of pre-existing consensus to leave it in the article itself, and I notice that #2 on the to do list at the top of this page says "Develop a section on influences in Western culture and philosophy." I think, rather than removing content, it would be a better idea to add additional content showing Laozi's influence on other forms of philosophy in addition to libertarianism. Torchiest talk/contribs 18:08, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

I agree with Torchiest regarding both exclusion from the lead and §Influence on Western culture. Modern bias and Western bias are factors that need special consideration...Machine Elf 1735 (talk) 05:39, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

The lead is supposed to cover items in proportion to the weight given in reliable sources. To have a position that is only supported by 1 author in the lead is a violation of WP:UNDUE. Active Banana (talk) 01:10, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Further criticism of the lead[edit]

I'm quite shocked that, overlooked in all of this squabbling over whether to mention libertarianism in the lead, that Lao Tzu's major achievement -- if not the only his only certain one -- is unmentioned: he wrote the Tao Te Ching. From this achievement come all of the other facts or assertions about him, that he founded Taoism, that he is considered a god by the Taoist Church, & that he is embraced by anti-authoritarian groups.

This is an oversight on the level of opening the article on Homer with a statement that he was an ancient Greek poet, that his existence is disputed, that he is very influential... but only somewhere into the article we bother to mention that Homer wrote the Iliad & the Odyssey. (Or some carefully-worded statement to that effect; I know the matter is more complex than that, but an introduction introduces, it does not toss the reader into the middle of a subject with no direction about how to understand the material.)

Such an oversight is enough to make me consider doing one of the following: (1) rewrite the lead to include a mention of the Tao Te Ching in the first paragraph, if not the first sentence; or (2) remove the "GA" rating from this article. Anyone object to either of these actions? -- llywrch (talk) 16:20, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Please go ahead and do 1). First sentence of course. Itsmejudith (talk) 16:21, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Why are only western historians listed in the bibliography?- Ie lead criticism[edit]

Secondary to this question, why is a western figure like Socrates almost never doubted to have existed as one prolific person, while Laozi is largely considered to have been many people? (by westerners) (talk) 05:12, 18 January 2011 (UTC)Cogsy1

I'm not sure this is the place to discuss historiography, or philosiography, or whatever you would call that metacriticism. Wikipedia sticks to reliable published sources; it's not really our place to "correct" them, especially not all of them. One thing is, on English wikipedia there is a strong preference for sources in English; otherwise one editor could cite a bunch of sources that few could verify even reading them.
You seem to be implying that Chinese or non-Western sources have a different conclusion about the historicity of Laozi. Do you have any evidence of this? It's not like translations are uncommon.Msalt (talk) 12:51, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

What is this entry at the end of the page?[edit]

Someone just added this: "{{Link GA|ja}}" after the last category. It does not appear on my computer, as near as I can tell. Is this some legitimate technical thing I don't know about? or ????? Msalt (talk) 02:29, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

It's a template indicating there is a corresponding Good Article in Japanese, see Help:Interlanguage_links#Featured_articles_and_good_articles — Preceding unsigned comment added by D A Patriarche (talkcontribs) 04:47, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Dravidian tradition?[edit]

It's a pretty big leap to define Lao Tzu as the avatar of a Dravidian tradition. While this may or may not be accurate, we'll need a lot better and more reliable source than the web page of an erstwhile universal martial art to add such a claim. I'm removing it again for now. I don't think this is vandalism exactly, but there is a good chance of POV pushing and possible conflict of interest here. Would the user who keeps adding this please explain themselves here? Thank you. Msalt (talk) 20:50, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes, well, it is true that it is a big leap. And I am sorry that we couldn't previously have this discussion. Apart his already established presence in Southern India, there are several reliable sources which would support this, although I thought a couple would have been enough:

Do Xama Ao Premio Nobel, Todos Sao Filhos De Deus Ciencia E Espiritualidade Conceito do Leitor: Seja o primeiro a opinar Coleção: REPORTER ESPECIAL Autor: ARANTES, JOSE TADEU Editora: TERCEIRO NOME Assunto: COMUNICAÇÃO - JORNALISMO

Pages 50-51

Alchemy and Alchemists (Paperback) By: Sean Martin (Author) ISBN: 1903047528 WAPI (Tower ID): 109471135 Release Date: June 1, 2001 Page 91

The Yoga of Siddha Boganathar [Paperback] Vol 1 T. N. Ganapathy (Author) Publisher: Kriya Yoga Publications Inc (October 2003) ISBN-10: 1895383196 ISBN-13: 978-1895383195

The Alchemical Body: Siddha Traditions in Medieval India [Paperback] David Gordon White (Author) Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (December 1, 1998) Language: English ISBN-10: 0226894991 ISBN-13: 978-0226894997 Page 61 esp.

Other sites: quoting from their website: ", the official web site of Arulmigu Dandayudhapani Swami Devasthanam, Palani, is published and maintained as an offering to Lord Dandayudhapani Swami by devotees with the consent and approval of the Office of the Joint Commissioner / Executive Officer, Palani.

Text of pages, unless otherwise noted, are drawn from Palani: The Hill Temple of Muruga published by Arulmigu Dandayudhapani Swami Temple, Palani (Madras, 1975). Photos and text from the web site may be republished with permission only." - another website endorsed by the State of Karnataka.

All of the above clearly show the Dravidian view, which is that the legendary alchemist Bogar was Bo-yang Lao-Tse. This is embedded in their culture and traditions. --Avedeus (talk) 23:11, 12 February 2011 (UTC) P.S. I am not trying to redefine Lao-Tsu's identity, just thought I'd add another view of Lao-Tsu's origin.--Avedeus (talk) 23:13, 12 February 2011 (UTC)P.S. I myself am surprised having only recently heard of this from a friend; I, myself, am not a Hindu. Furthermore, this would help fulfill the 3rd article on our to-do-list for Lao-Tse.

Very interesting, thanks for the links. I'm intrigued by the term "Medeival" in one of the books. When is Bogar said to have lived? Is he a later figure considered to be a reincarnation of Lao-Tse?Msalt (talk) 22:35, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Name Translation[edit]

When Laozi is literally translated it means "old baby" because the chinese used to believe Laozi was immortal and was actually born an old man. In the artical it says that it translates into "old master" which is incorrect and should be fixed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sunshinenite (talkcontribs) 03:28, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Isn't the 2nd syllable the same as in Kung fu tse (Confucius), Chuang tse, and other masters? (Sorry about the spellings!)-- (talk) 04:03, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
子 is an honorific suffix in classical Chinese, translated to "master". See wiktionary:子#Noun_2, 4th meaning. (talk) 09:52, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
This. Sun's might make for more interesting party discussion, but it's not what's actually going on with this name. — LlywelynII 21:00, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

time of birth[edit]

I believe the Qin dynasty spanned from 221-206BC as said in the following entry: [[1]]. Therefore, if Laozi was really born in the 6th BC century it cannot have been under Qin dynasty. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:12, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Famous quotations[edit]

Surely two of the most famous quotes from Lao Tzu are--

(1) The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step (Chapter 64).

(2) Those who know do not say. Those who say do not know (Chapter 56).

Not that these are as central to his thinking as some of the quote you DO give. They're just well known, I would say.

I love Wikipedia, not that interested in becoming active with any of this. But I have read Lao Tse many times, majored in religion long ago. Keep up the good work!

Robslocum (talk) 01:29, 30 July 2013 (UTC)Rob Slocum

Disputed Existence[edit]

Lao Tzu was recently removed from the List of Pantheists article for being of questionable historicity. Is this an appropriate edit? Is the questioning of his historical existence significant enough to remove him from lists of people? NaturaNaturans (talk) 14:02, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

In that case there was also no evidence that he was a pantheist. And yes, I do think there's enough query about his existence to remove him from most lists of people. Obviously the Tao Te Ching was written by someone(s), but who? Itsmejudith (talk) 14:38, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
But several experts of pantheism list him as a pantheist. The source used on the List of Pantheists page is perhaps the leading living authority of pantheism. I am not disputing that his historicity may be questioned, but it doesn't seem it is consensus that he did not exist. NaturaNaturans (talk) 14:59, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
No, he shouldn't be removed from the list because of his questionable historicity. His historicity is on the level of Homer and the ur-text of the Tao Te Ching (whatever the critics or archaeologists determine it to be) can speak to its author's views. On the other hand, he should be removed from the list because the present text suggests he wasn't a pantheist. The Way determines the nature of the 10k things, but it's not identical to them, nor is it identical to any notion contained under the rubric of the English word "God". — LlywelynII 21:08, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Lousy article[edit]

I did a quick run through and got most of the worst duplications and unhelpful verbiage out; I patched up the name section; but this is still a pretty uninformative, badly sourced, and poorly-written article. Should we revert to the former Good Article state, plus some of the Chinese text for the names? or should this not have been given a GA status in the first place? — LlywelynII 21:08, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

It is six years since it was listed and the GA and FA criteria were interpreted very differently back then. I think a GA review might be an idea.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:59, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Tao Te Ching[edit]

"Some of Laozi's famous sayings include:" should include attributions to specific translations & versions, not just for (c) but esp. as these vary greatly in their rendition. Or would that be overburdening this page? D A Patriarche, BSc (talk) (talk) 03:51, 26 July 2014 (UTC)


Ursula K. Le Guin's Tao Te Ching listed here appears to be the 2nd edition or later, hard cover, including 2 CDs.[2] This edition contains many more pages than the 1st ed. referenced elsewhere in the article. However, one bookseller describes it as "abridged"(!)[3]. I do not have a copy of this edition & have been unable to confirm details online. The ISBN is correct. Note: URL links may be temporary. — Preceding unsigned comment added by D A Patriarche (talkcontribs) 04:35, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Laozi/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

needs better referencing; has a copyedit tag plange 06:20, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Last edited at 06:20, 30 July 2006 (UTC). Substituted at 21:39, 29 April 2016 (UTC)


This article is truly terrible. I hope someone comes along soon to fix it.

There is no mention whatsoever of the huge difference between dao jia and dao jiao - religious taoism and philosophical taoism, essentially. They are totally different. Religious taoism is an amalgamation of prehistoric animal-worship, superstitions and the pantheon of flying people. That group adopted Lao zi as a flying people, but has very little to do with the dao de jing or the (perhaps-real) person.

Philosophical daoism is the discussion of the dao de jing and later works by zhuang zi (if a butterfly flaps its wings ...) Taoism as a "philosophy" is anti-philosophical and anti-intellectual, totally amoral and can be (has been, too) used as a basis for everything from enlightened humanitarian regimes to the most repressive, heartless governments. If our libertarian friends have "adopted" daoism, they will be just one more group in a long line that have extracted what they want to hear from the dao de jing. But with the very first line of the dao de jing explaining that you cannot explain the dao, I fail to see how they can use it as any sort of basis for a philosophy with rules. That was the point. There *are* no rules. Rules and intellectualizing obfuscate the dao.

This article needs help, badly. And can we please ditch Ursula leGuin's "translation" ? She doesn't speak modern Chinese, much less ancient Chinese. How she can have the nerve to create a 'translation' of a language she doesn't understand is beyond my (admittedly limited) comprehension. (talk) 14:02, 18 July 2016 (UTC)