Overview (World Philosophers and Their Works)
The I Ching is one of the three so-called mystical scriptures, the other two being the Dao De Jing (late third century b.c.e.; The Speculations on Metaphysics, Polity, and Morality, of“the Old Philosopher, Lau-Tsze,” 1868; better known as Dao De Jing) and the Zhuangzi (c. 300 b.c.e., The Divine Classic of Nan-hua, 1881; also known as The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu, 1968; commonly known as Zhuangzi, 1991). Initially a book of divination, the I Ching grew over the centuries with the addition of commentaries and came to be venerated not only as a profound image of the forces of the universe but also as a source of wisdom.
The book is the work of many authors, and there is no consensus concerning their identity. Chinese scholar Wing-tsit Chan notes that tradition ascribes the eight trigrams (of which the sixty-four hexagrams are composed) to the legendary emperor Fu Xi (third millennium b.c.e.), the sixty-four hexagrams to King Wen (also known as Wenwang, flourished twelfth century b.c.e.), the two texts to him or the duke of Zhou (died 1094 b.c.e.), and the Ten Wings (appendixes or commentaries) to Confucius; but Chan points out that most modern scholars reject these claims and that one must simply conclude that the work is...
(The entire section is 546 words.)
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