qì 气 – Chinese philosophy and culture

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qì 气

Qi (Vital Force)


Qi (vital force) has a material existence independent of subjective consciousness and is the basic element of all physical beings. It is also the basis for the birth and existence of life and spirit. In addition, some thinkers have given a moral attribute to qi. Qi is in constant motion and change, and has no specific shape. Its concentration gives birth to a thing and its evaporation signals the end of that thing. Qi permeates all physical beings and their surroundings. Qi, as a philosophical concept, is different from what is commonly understood by the word qi (气), namely, air. Although things in liquid or solid form are different from things in air form, from the perspective of the ancient Chinese philosophy, their formation and existence are the results of the concentration of qi.

引例 Citations:



It is qi that permeates everything under heaven. (Zhuangzi)



The convergence of qi of heaven and that of earth gives life to all things. (Wang Chong: A Comparative Study of Different Schools of Learning)

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