If you’ve been reading this blog for some time, then you might know that Yang and I take a more analytically-inclined approach to eastern and western philosophy. Ideally, what this entails is similar to developing a formula or working through an algorithm, but instead the work is done with propositions (there is no clear cut cardinality and arithmetic…and people think philosophy is easy!). Sometimes, though, time doesn’t allow for fully explaining everything such that the most coherent and strong view is formed or readily apparent, so we think it might suffice to introduce ideas into eastern philosophical discussion. This can be seen with Yang’s post about morality in Taoism.
I was “happily” reading my calculus textbook, reading about the arc length integral, when I saw this picture of circles with inscribed polygons approximating their respective circles. I quickly took a picture, sent it to Yang, and told him that the picture shows the relationship between nondistinction and infinite distinction.
Zhuangzi wrote that assigning attributes, or distinguishing, is like turning the circle into a square. The circle is considered to be boundless in having no corners and is meant to be a representation of nature. So by distinguishing nature, one becomes bound to their perceptions of nature.