Talk:Taijitu

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Why include the foreigner's things?[edit]

The taiji concept is Chinese origin, from the well-spring of ancient knowledge. Please don't pollute the concept with the foreign things, especially from those time of Western had no culture, only the caveman things. You should think long and hard to respect Chinese culture. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:C5F7:EB00:7C02:3760:51CC:D764 (talk) 04:04, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Learn something about respect, yourself, before you post again. --Thnidu (talk) 04:04, 5 July 2014 (UTC)


Dear unsigned user, this is an English-language page dealing with a symbol whose usage was first attested in a European context and not in any "cave art" as you put it but rather in Celtic and Roman art or symbolism, centuries before its attested use anywhere else. The symbol as such is not derived from any Chinese philosophy, it's simply a universal geometric symbol that has come to be used by and has come to be strongly associated with certain Chinese schools of philosophy. Those philosophies have their own pages, if you are looking for them. The fact that this symbol has come to be referred to as a "yin and yang symbol" in English and other European languages, despite its usage being first attested in a European context should be taken as a compliment, not as an affront. Just like for instance the case is with the famous number puzzle game Sudoku, where the Japanese name is used internationally despite Sudoku not being an original Japanese invention. There's absolutely no malicious intent in either case, quite the contrary in fact. It's a direct and explicit recognition of their prominent usage in non-Western contexts. What more could you ask for?
The problem, i.e. your problem, seems to be the fact that what should be a page simply called "yin and yang (symbol)" redirects to "Taijitu" which is a term that (as far as I can tell) more explicitly assumes the whole underlying Chinese philosophical system rather than just the geometric symbol as such. From reading the archived discussions on this page, it seems that the choice of "Taijitu" as the page's name was a concession made because of one very persistent editor who was pushing for the primacy if not exclusivity of this symbol's usage in the context of Chinese philosophy. So, the compromise so to speak was to keep the article's universality but as a concession to name it as if it was about the Chinese philosophical system ;) It's not the best choice of name IMHO, since this philosophical system is dealt with in other Wikipedia pages and the term "Taijitu" is not one commonly used for this symbol internationally, at least not in the English language. The name "Taijitu" will undoubtedly invite a few reactions like yours, since some people will wonder why European symbols appear on a page ostensibly about Chinese philosophy. But this is not the result of anyone pushing a Western/European agenda, this is the intended or unintended result of those pushing for Chinese exclusivity when it comes this symbol as I've already explained above regarding the concession or compromise made with the naming of this page. If it was up to me, I would have moved this page to "yin and yang (symbol)" as that would have made things more clear to you and to everyone else, but my guess is that it wouldn't take long for someone to again start an edit war with the desire to more strongly emphasize the Chinese philosophical system and then we would probably end up again with another bad compromise ;)
Abvgd (talk) 12:11, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
Man, it's already poited out that this symbol was found in Ukraine and is millenias older than Celts and Romans together. ;) 195.150.224.69 (talk) 17:42, 6 September 2015 (UTC)

http://xingyimax.com/more-about-taiji-symbols-of-ukraine-pavilion-at-expo-2010/ 178.36.13.155 (talk) 08:49, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

As the Chinese symbol is most certainly younger than AD 1300, any connection to ornamental patterns "found in Ukraine and is millenias older than Celts and Romans together" is ostensibly irrelevant, except in the limited context of the Expo 2010 idea of drawing an artificial connection between them. --dab (𒁳) 10:52, 27 December 2015 (UTC)

Celts and China leads me immediately to think of the Tarim mummies, there maybe an older and closer link than some would like to acknowledge.--KTo288 (talk) 15:31, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

Why paragraph on taijitu in Trypillian culture removed?[edit]

If mentions of similar symbols among Celts and Romans are present, why is mentions of Trypillian culture removed? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 178.36.43.201 (talk) 12:08, 18 July 2013 (UTC) I added informations on this subject again. Examples are easly visible on photos from articles in references. 178.36.43.201 (talk) 12:30, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

well, it's interesting and charming in the context of Expo 2010, but it's not exactly "notable". Of course it can be mentioned, but then it should have some kind of decent reference, not a random url. It's a cute idea Ukraine came up with for their pavilion in 2010. It doesn't have any deeper "meaning" beyond that. --dab (𒁳) 08:29, 27 December 2015 (UTC)

First record of the modern symbol[edit]

The article is suspiciously silent on actual Chinese sources for the modern symbol. The closest we have is Lai Zhide (16th century). This symbol is clearly similar to the modern design, and may be a remote predecessor. Then the next thing we have are modern pop-culture items. So, the article has a gap of 400 years. The earliest representation of the modern design I found so far is the "cycle of Cathay" by Parsons (1897). So it seems plausible the modern symbol was developed in China at some point between 1590 and 1890, unless we want to assume it was made up by Parsons himself. More detail on its development during this period is needed. --dab (𒁳) 08:33, 27 December 2015 (UTC)

Found this -- apparently, the "dots" can be traced to as early as 1370. At the same time, most examples predating 1900 (or 1960, for that matter) do not have the dots. The relevant study seems to be

François Louis, 'The Genesis of an Icon: The "Taiji" Diagram's Early History', Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 63.11 (June 2003), 145–196.

but I do not have access to it from where I am sitting. --dab (𒁳) 11:27, 27 December 2015 (UTC)

Shield pattern of the armigeri defensores seniores (4th row, third from left)[1][2][3]
See Notitia Dignitatum: The Notitia contains the earliest known depictions of the diagram which later came to be known as yin and yang symbol.[1][2][3]
  1. ^ a b Giovanni Monastra: The "Yin-Yang" among the Insignia of the Roman Empire?, Sophia, Bd. 6, Nr. 2 (2000)
  2. ^ a b Isabelle Robinet: "Taiji tu. Diagram of the Great Ultimate", in: Fabrizio Pregadio (ed.): The Encyclopedia of Taoism A−Z, Routledge, Abingdon (Oxfordshire) 2008, ISBN 978-0-7007-1200-7, pp. 934−936 (934)
  3. ^ a b Helmut Nickel: The Dragon and the Pearl, Metropolitan Museum Journal, Bd. 26 (1991), S. 146, Fn. 5

Monad[edit]

I've added that the taijitu is also called monad, however User:Nigelj reverted this[1] saying "Reverted 1 edit by Cyfal: Monad is not a Chinese or Taoist concept. The Monad article says Not' to be confused with the Taijitu symbol', and here you are doing just that. Only re-add with a legitimate reliable citation."

I disagree: I have never claimed that monad is a Chinese or Taoist concept.

The term monad has of course a number of meanings in western philosophy, see e.g. Monad (philosophy), Monad (Gnosticism), Monadology. However, the Taijitu article is about the symbol ☯. And that symbol is sometimes called "Taijitu", sometimes "yin yang symbol", and sometimes also "monad". That's exactly why someone added a hatnote to Monad (philosophy) that the western philosophy term should not be confused with the taijitu symbol [2].

I therefore added "monad" again, now with two references hopefully reliable enough showing that the yin yang symbol is also called monad. Additional references would be nice, nevertheless. This and this is not sufficient, I fear ;-)

--Cyfal (talk) 20:00, 27 July 2016 (UTC)

Have you read the first sentence? As you currently have it, it says "A taijitu, also called monad, is a symbol or diagram in Chinese philosophy representing Taiji..." According to that, this is not an article about various similar diagrams from all over the world, but about a diagram in Chinese philosophy that represents Taiji. In addition, WP:LEDE says that the lede section should summarise cited material in the body of the article, and monad is never mentioned again here. It seems a bit like stuffing a mention of the arithmetic plus sign into the first sentence of the crucifix article. --Nigelj (talk) 23:45, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
Sorry for my obstinacy, but... The arithmetic plus sign and crucifix may look (more or less) the same, but except the look they have nothing in common. However, my assertion is that the expression "monad" refers not to any symbol looking like the taijitu, but is another name for the taijitu. Do you agree with me that the "yin-yang symbol" does not only look like the "taijitu", but in fact is another name for it? Then I only have to proof that "monad" is another name for the "yin-yang symbol". And I think my references proof this.
Concerning WP:LEDE: You are right, the first mentioning of monad would possibly better fit into the section "Modern yin-yang symbol" or a similar section.
--Cyfal (talk) 21:36, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
You cited an online thesaurus and a library index. These aren't "references". Please do us the minimal courtesy of doing your own research.
If you do that, you will find, I believe, that "the great monad" was the term used for wuji the 1870s. Then by the 1880s it seems it came to be used for the taijitu in second-tier literature ([3]). The term seems to resurface in (say) third-tier literature in the 20th century, but it doesn't appear to have seen much use ever. It's more of an inaccuracy or a mistake than an actual synonym. If you could research that in greater detail and present your results in a "terminology" section, great. Just using google and then linking crappy links like the "vocabulary.locloud.eu" one does not cut it for an article at this stage of development, sorry. --dab (𒁳) 16:12, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
My main intent was to mention "monad" somewhere in this article, partly because of the hatnote in Monad (philosophy), but mainly because I found the expression monad in some recent texts of the type that you called "third-tier literature". So I wanted to help readers of this literature to find the explanation what this expression means in Wikipedia - even if the expression is an inaccuracy or a mistake.
I've seen you did a lot of modifications in the article, so monad now is still mentioned but with a much better historical explanation. Thank you, I totally agree with your modifications. Also, I've done now this and this edit and hope you will find them ok.
--Cyfal (talk) 22:44, 5 September 2016 (UTC)