1995 Francois Jullien, The Propensity of Things

In brief. David Ing.

Jullien views propensity in Chinese philosophy, as a counterpart to causality in Western philosophy.  Some unpacking of his writing in digests may be helpful.

Jullien, François. 1995. The Propensity of Things: Toward a History of Efficacy in China. Translated by Janet Lloyd. Zone Books.


How can we conceive of the dynamic in terms of the static, in terms of “disposition”? Or, to put it another way, how can any static situation be simultaneously conceived in terms of histori­cal movement? [p. 11]

A Confusing Ambiguity: The WordShi

A single Chinese word, shi1`will serve as our guide as we reflect on this matter, even though it is a relatively common term gen­ erally given no philosophical significance. The word is itself a source of confusion, but it was out of that confusion that this book emerged. [pp. 11-12]

1 The term shi (勢) is the same as…

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