Harmen

Book 'Astrology and Cosmology in Early China: Conforming Earth to Heaven' by David Pankenier

Recommended Posts

Thanks Harmen.  On page 215, note 58, it says:

 

Quote

John S. Major (1978, 13), for his part, draws the link between the Five Planets and the Five Elemental-Phases: “it does seem reasonable to believe that something like the Five Phases existed as a cosmological principle in the pre-philosophical state of Chinese thought, expressed in myths about the characteristics of the gods of the five planets. So again we see that a key concept of Chinese science probably can be traced back to Chinese versions of widespread cosmological myths.”

 

To this can be added that the names of the planets themselves are identical with that of the elemental phases.  And if they were worshipped as gods, that itself could account for their correlations with the seasons and directions.  Elsewhere (p. 212) there is evidence for these correlations from the Bronze Age (circa 5000 B.C.).

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, ernobe said:

Thanks Harmen.  On page 215, note 58, it says:

 

 

To this can be added that the names of the planets themselves are identical with that of the elemental phases.  And if they were worshipped as gods, that itself could account for their correlations with the seasons and directions.  Elsewhere (p. 212) there is evidence for these correlations from the Bronze Age (circa 5000 B.C.).

 

 

I have attached Major's article so that the quote can be read in its entire context.

Myth, Cosmology, and the Origins of Chinese Science - Major.pdf

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Apech said:

 

He says that myths were inimical to Confucian rationalism - but how does this sit with Confucius' own veneration of the Zhou rituals?

 

What do the rituals have to do with 'myths'? The Zhou rituals were linked to veneration of the ancestors. I don't think Confucius saw anything mythical in that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Harmen said:

 

What do the rituals have to do with 'myths'? The Zhou rituals were linked to veneration of the ancestors. I don't think Confucius saw anything mythical in that.

 

 

My knowledge is a little limited - but I thought there were seasonal deities and the like (?) - spring, harvest and so on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Apech said:

 

 

My knowledge is a little limited - but I thought there were seasonal deities and the like (?) - spring, harvest and so on.

 

Yes, but as far as I know these were not the targets of Confucius' rituals. Alas! My knowledge is also limited :-) 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did a little research and found that the Chinese word for "planet" can be broken down into two parts: "moving" and  "star".  The "moving" part is the same that is used in the "phase" part of the "five phases".    The names of the five visible planets have each of the phases (water, wood, etc.) conjoined with "star".  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites