Journal of
Philosophy and Culture

OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CLASSICS AND PHILOSOPHY, UNIVERSITY OF CAPE COAST
  • Abbreviation: J. Philos. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 0855-6660
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPC
  • Start Year: 2004
  • Published Articles: 41

The I Ching or “Book of Changes”: A Chinese space-time model and a philosophy of divination

Benjamin B. Olsin
  • Benjamin B. Olsin
  • Department of Philosophy, History, and History of Science, Liberal Arts Division, University of the Arts, Terra Building, 211 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102 USA.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 01 November 2005
  •  Accepted: 30 November 2005
  •  Published: 31 December 2005

Abstract

Although often written about, studied, cited, and referred to casually, the I Ching or “Book of Changes” as it is commonly known in English is not well understood in the context of Chinese metaphysics. In this paper, we wish to set the I Ching in the context of a particular space-time model of the Chinese. By “space-time”, I mean the relationship between the events in time, and locations of those events in physical space. I will also look at this classic work in the context of what is poorly rendered into English as “divination”. Indeed, the I Ching is often referred to as a book of divination or fortune-telling, when it is clear that it is not this at all, but rather a kind of “mental map” designed to guide the reader (or rather user) through this Chinese space-time environment.