“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.
Ti and yong (substance and utility) can be understood in three different ways: 1) a physical thing and its functions or roles; 2) the ontological existence of a thing and its expression and application; and 3) the fundamental code of conduct, and its observance. In any ti-yong relationship, ti (体) provides the basis on which yong(用) depends.
Tian means heaven in the physical sense, while qian (乾) means its functions and significance. (Kong Yingda: Correct Meaning of The Book of Changes)
What is most subtle is li (理), while what is most conspicuous is xiang(象). Li as the ontological existence and xiang as its manifestation are of the same origin; there is no difference between them. (Cheng Yi: Cheng Yi’s Commentary on The Book of Changes)