Toward A More Comprehensive Concept Of Life

  • Thaddeus T’ui-Chieh Hang
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 17)


The word “life” is familiar and may even seem banal. Yet philosophically it is one of most difficult concepts. This is all the more so as people take it as being self-evident and fail to consider what life really is. My intention here is to describe and assess critically the most salient traits of life, as they are presented in Chinese, Indian, and Western philosophies and then to select some of them, which include all known phenomena attributed to life and which are at least in part experienced or subject to observation. In this way I hope to produce a more comprehensive concept of life. It may seem strange that this concept will be applicable not only to living things in the biological sense, but also to things below the biological level. In this light the so-called lifeless world is seen as endowed with the same characteristics which belong to living things, but in a lower form. I cannot pretend to prove this fundamental unity of all things within the framework of such a paper. The most I can do is to show the plausibility and inner coherency of such a concept.


Chinese Philosophy Western Philosophy Living Body Living Thing Indian Philosophy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Universitas: Monthly review of Philosophy and Culture 8, nos. 10–12 (October-December 1981)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Monadology, secs. 3, 15, 19, 24, 41, 60, 66, 82–83, etc.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ibid., secs, 7–15, 56, 62Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Summa Theologica I. q.79, 2.c.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thaddeus T’ui-Chieh Hang
    • 1
  1. 1.National Chengchi UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

Personalised recommendations