Talk:Yin and yang

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Penis | Vagina[edit]

According to the "meaning" section, yin means both Penis and Vagina, while yang means male genitals. Is this a mistake? Why does yin mean penis? How is penis opposed to or in a dichotomous relationship with male genitalia? --188.104.131.205 (talk) 21:54, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

"Every explanation has to stop somewhere," Philosophical Investigations, Wittgenstein. There is no explanation for why a single sound carries multiple, possibly contradictory meanings — Preceding unsigned comment added by 166.175.189.66 (talk) 04:27, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

It is not a mistake. The fact that "yin" refers to the female gender and "yang" refers to the male gender is a natural ramification of the dichotomy. The fact that "yin" can refer to the genitals of both sexes may seem to be a mistake, but this usage actually stems from the sense "hidden" of "yin" -- the private parts of both sexes are concealed from others. MaigoAkisame (talk) 01:00, 7 January 2016 (UTC)


the difference of genres is the foundation of yin yang theory but can be a little more convenient in a more scientific language

--Iching4096 (talk) 13:06, 16 April 2016 (UTC)

Qinway Qigong link[edit]

I've removed a link that seems to be plain old advertising: I saw a bit of content on the linked site that seemed generally informational (though I can't speak to its real relevance to this page or to the subject of qigong), but it all seemed to be leading you toward signing up for some workshops and/or buying some products. (Any site whose front page has "before" and "after" pictures . . .)

From what I've seen of Wikipedia and read on the help pages, I get the pretty clear impression that this is not the sort of thing that should be here. Apologies if I'm dead wrong.Iralith 22:15, 18 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Distinction between simple linguistic facts and philosophical waffle[edit]

Disclaimer: I speak Japanese, but not Chinese.

This article rather conflates two entirely different things: the morphemes (陰 and 陽) which are simple bits of language, and the philosophical stuff. I understand that the philosophical stuff is full of Mystery, from outside the Material Realm (etc etc), but the words are just ordinary words, so the "linguistic" section seems to me to be misplaced. For example, they are said to be "semantically complex", which I think is the reverse of the truth: they are so semantically simple they can be represented by just three strokes in English: + and -. What has been misrepresented as "complexity" is just the fact that there are no simple equivalent English morphemes to represent the same range of (basically "opposite") distinctions: for example, they correspond to an- and cath- in the terms for opposing electrodes; terms which in Chinese, Japanese, etc are represented by 陰 and 陽, and which of course are utterly part of the empirically determined real world, as far from philosowaffle as it is possible to get.

I suggest that the "linguistic" section could be reduced to a brief paragraph and a link to Wiktionary, but invite comments first. (Personal remark: I do not disguise my contempt for the vacuosity of the philosophical stuff -- see the section "Nature" for spectacular examples -- but I am not trying to remove this at all, rather trying to remove the implications of linguistic mystery. There should be an article, but it should describe the history, origins, and so forth of the beliefs in a dispassionate way.) Imaginatorium (talk) 05:27, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

Sorry, but I don't understand why we should dumb down the article. Would you please explain? What in the current section implies "linguistic mystery"? How is "+" semantically equivalent to the nine meanings "① [Chinese philosophy] positive/active/male principle in nature ② the sun ④ in relief ⑤ open; overt ⑥ belonging to this world ⑦ [linguistics] masculine ⑧ south side of a hill ⑨ north bank of a river"? Keahapana (talk) 22:06, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
I don't want to "dumb down" anything. I removed this claim again, because it is not only not helpful to reference very obscure terms, but because 陰 and 陽 on their own do not mean "ubac and adret". The seemingly "complicated" list of meanings is misleading: these two characters bring just the +/- distinction to whatever is being discussed: in respect of openness or overtness, 陽+open means "yes+open", while 陰+open means "no+open". In the specific example of sides of a mountain, I tried a French-Chinese dictionary for 'ubac', and got nothing, because presumably the word is fairly obscure in French (this Larousse entry for udret shows its Alps-specific nature; a different word 'soulane' is used in the Pyrenees). So I looked up 'hinata', Japanese for "sunny side (of a mountain)" in a handy Japanese-Chinese dictionary, and it gives 太阳地儿 (literally 'sun' + 'land'; the second character is the simplified form of 陽). No sign of 陽 as a separate word -- not surprising when you look at the dictionary entry cited in the article which says "Bound morpheme". (Again, there is a certain amount of confusion between the *meanings* of the two characters, and their *etymological origins*: the latter, as already described above, is indeed about sides of "mounds", or whatever you call the left hand radical 阝.) Imaginatorium (talk) 14:34, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, on the left is used for Radical 170 "hill; mound", which is why it was added to logographs for yin and yang in their basic "adret" and "ubat" senses. Fortunately, Wikipedia is based upon WP:RS and there's no need to make up imaginary plus/minus languages. Neither *yinkai 陰開 nor *yangkai 陽開 is a Chinese word. Yangwu 陽物 doesn't mean "plus thing", yindao 陰道 doesn't mean "minus way", etc. As for the twice-deleted statement and Wiktionary links being "not actually true", here's a link for you. Best wishes, Keahapana (talk) 20:44, 7 November 2015 (UTC)

Opposites?[edit]

The opening of this article says that Yin and Yang is about how "opposites" and "contradictory forces" are complementary and interdependent. Is this actually accurate? Every source I've seen says instead that nature is composed of complementary forces that appear opposite and contradictory but are interconnected and interdependent. This may sound like the same thing, but it most certainly is not. The way it's stated in the article's introduction it sounds like the principle postulates that any two opposing forces must be interdependent and complementary, while the way I'd heard it simply says that anything in nature has two sides that appear opposite. This becomes particularly important when you're dealing with the concept of good and evil. The definition in the intro would suggest that this principal demands good and evil be complementary and depend on one another, that good cannot exist without evil and vice versa. The definition I'd previously been given instead says that good can be divided into aspects and principles that seem to oppose one another but depend on one another. If yin and yang does not directly imply that all opposites are interdependent, I believe this intro should be altered just a bit to be a little more clear. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.197.193.213 (talk) 12:13, 5 June 2016 (UTC)

I "softened" the lead intro just a bit, as you requested; however, that doesn't alter the fact that in Chinese philosophy, all seemingly contrary or opposite natural forces are, without a doubt, complementary, interconnected and very much do depend on each other for their very existence. The forces of good and evil are notable examples, because if one can imagine a world where one force is abolished, how would one know what the other force, the new, "normal" way of things, is called? If good were suddenly gone, and all that is left is what we call "evil", then philosophically speaking, evil must also cease to exist, just as the shadow disappears when the light goes out.  Wikipedian Sign Language Paine  18:09, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

Ubac and adret[edit]

Why on earth is it important to note that Stein used an obscure word in his translation of "sunny side of a mountain?" -165.234.252.11 (talk) 17:01, 27 July 2016 (UTC)

Why is it important to have an article on obscure Chinese terms? The importance is in the learning, which tends to make obscurity recede.  Wikipedian Sign Language Paine  17:48, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
Is it a widespread thing, or is it one guy's idiosyncrasy? -165.234.252.11 (talk) 15:35, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
It is merely a comparison of terms from those used in Chinese philosophy to those used in geography. Both sets are inventions to describe discoveries – symbols given meaning to describe Nature. Neither seems very widespread, and both are (or began as) idiosyncratic. What matter? Should readers be denied because of this?  Temporal Sunshine Paine  09:20, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
Well... no, yin and yang are pretty widespread; no, people may have idiosyncratic interpretations of yin and yang but the words and concepts are not themselves idiosyncrasies; maybe, but I'm not here to regurgitate abbreviated links to policies, I'm seriously just wondering what the deal is. -165.234.252.11 (talk) 16:35, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
Yes, well the reason yin and yang are pretty widespread is probably because (1) they've been around so long (I think it was Confucius or perhaps even someone before him who idiosyncratically coined the terms), and (2) because of the general rise in public interest over the years. I honestly don't know how long ubac and adret have been attached to English geography, and since no public interest has, to my knowledge, been generated in regard to these little gems of scientific jargon, they do appear more like "one guy's idiosyncrasy". I don't think the sinologist Stein coined the terms, though, I think he just made the connection with yin and yang, perhaps after reading the I Ching or some other book on Chinese philosophy. So IMHO it's fair to say that expressing that reliably sourced fact is useful in this article. If other sciences have similar terms, I'd be interested in reading about those, too. I still say as I did in my first response to you that "the deal" is all about learning, or in the encyclopedic sense, the deal is about the spread of knowledge.  Temporal Sunshine Paine  17:27, 1 August 2016 (UTC)