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Laozi (老子Lǎozǐ) is the name of a legendary Daoist (道教Dàojiào) philosopher, the alternate title of the early Chinese text better known in the West as the Daodejing (道德经Dàodéjīng).


Laozi(老子Lǎozǐ) is the name of a legendary Daoist (道教dàojiào) philosopher, the alternate title of the early Chinese text better known in the West as the Daodejing (道德经dàodéjīng), and the moniker of a deity in the pantheon of organized “religiousDaoism” that arose during the later Han dynasty (汉朝Hàncháo) (25-220 CE). Laozi is the pinyin Romanization for the Chinese characters which mean "Old Master (大师dàshī)." Laozi is also known as Lao Tan (老Lǎo Dān) ("Old Tan") in early Chinese sources (see Romanization systems for Chinese terms). The Zhuangzi (庄子Zhuāngzǐ) is the first text to use Laozi as a personal name and to identify Laozi and Lao Tan. The earliest materials associated with Laozi are in the Zhuangzi’s Inner Chapters. The Outer Chapters of that work have ten logia in which Laozi is the main figure, four of which contain direct attacks on the Confucian (孔子Kǒngzǐ) virtues ofren, yi, and li that are reminiscent of passages from the Daodejing. The earliest ascription of authorship of the Daodejing to Laozi is in Han Feizi (韩非子Hánfēizǐ) and the Huainanzi (淮南子Huáinánzǐ), but several themes from the Laozi logia of the Zhuangzi are traceable into the Daodejing and on at least two occasions in that text Laozi counsels following dao (the Way) to possess de (virtue). Laozi became a principal figure in institutionalized religious forms of Daoism. He was often associated with many transformations and incarnations  of the dao itself.

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  [Editor:missm2014   2015/01/14/]

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