Choose one of the question below and write an essay.
1. Trace the concept of the Dao through the Daodejing. What is Dao?
2. Trace the ideas of balance and opposites through the Daodejing. Does the text seem to privilege one way of being over another?
3. Discuss the use of nature images and metaphors in the Daodejing. Provide examples and explain them.
4. Explain what the Daodejing means by non-action/wu wei. Provide examples and explain them.
5. The Daodejing, like Analects, is a text that engages with the society around it and tries to shape and mold it. Explore and discuss the political aspects of the Daodejing (the second half, 38-81, is particularly useful here).
6. Compare and contrast the idea of the junzi in the Analects with the sage/shengren in the Daodejing.
7. Compare and discuss Daodejing 49 , 63, and Analects 14:34. Ivanhoe’s footnote is worth noting, but even if this was a traditional saying, the form in which we have the Analects is certainly framed as contra-Daoist, so discuss it in this context. This is a debate; enter into it.
8. Daodejing enters into direct debate with the Rujia concerning important terms and how they are to be lived.