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Classic text of Chinese philosophy. Written between the 6th and 3rd centuries BC, it was once called the Laozi after its traditional author Laozi, though its true authorship is still unresolved. The Daodejing presents a way of life intended to restore harmony and tranquillity to a kingdom racked by disorder. It promotes a course of nonaction, understood as restraint from any unnatural action rather than complete passivity, thereby allowing the dao to resolve things naturally. It was designed as a handbook for rulers, who should rule by inaction, imposing no restrictions or prohibitions on their subjects. The Daodejing has had a tremendous influence on all later schools of Chinese philosophy and religion and has been the subject of hundreds of commentaries.
Variants of DAODEJING
Daodejing or Tao-te ching
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Daodejing, visit Britannica.com.
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