“Key Concepts in Chinese Thought and Culture (81 pieces)” is an important Book Project disseminated by Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. The setting of “Disseminating Key Concepts in Chinese Thoughts and Culture Project” aims to organize key concepts which can reflect the features of Chinese classical culture and the way of national thinking, and can perform Chinese core values, explain and translate objectively and accurately in concise language which is easy to exchange verbally. By this way, chinese voice and stories will be disseminated in international exchanges, that the condition and history of China will be known better by people in the world.
The specialists committee of the project consist of international well-known specialists and scholars. Senior adviser and Art Review Commission of America Arts Research Institute (AARI), Mr. Yu Wentao took part in the review for the final English version. With the authorization, AARI is going to publish the 81 pieces of Key Concepts in Chinese Thought and Culture here.
Wu(物) usually denotes an existence in universe that has a form or an image. In general, the word has three different meanings. First, it refers to any concrete existence, encompassing all natural and manmade objects, all organisms and human beings. Second, it covers interpersonal matters and activities such as taking care of one’s parents, entering politics, or managing state affairs. In this sense, wu means “matter”. Third, the word sums up all existing physical and social matters, generally called “everything”.
First, there is the universe. Then everything comes into being and fills up the universe. (The Book of Changes)
意之所用，必有其物，物即事也。如意用于事亲，即事亲为一物。（《传习录》卷中） （良知感应运用，必然用于“物”上，“物”就是各种事，如良知感应运用于侍奉双亲，那么侍奉双亲就是一个“物”。） Conscience must relate to “things”,which refer to various matters. If one’s conscience is applied to parents, then taking care of one’s parents is the “matter”. (Wang Yangming: Records of Great Learning)