An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Yuqiao wendui 漁樵問對

Oct 6, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Yuqiao wendui 漁樵問對 "Discussion between the Fisherman and the Wood-Cutter" (also Yuqiao duiwen 漁樵對問) is a philosophical text written during the Northern Song period 北宋 (960-1126) by the numerologist and philosopher Yong Shao 邵雍 ("Master Shaozi" 邵子, 1011-1077). Whether Shao Yong was really the author of the Yuqiao wendui, has long been disputed. The bibliography Junzhai dushu zhi 郡齋讀書志 says it was written by Zhang Zai 張載 (1020-1077). The scholar Yu Jiaxi 余嘉錫 (1884-1955) has pointed at the fact that the Zhuzi yulei 朱子語類 declares that the Yuqiao wendiao was written by Shao Yong. That book is an authoritative text on the Neo-Confucian masters, and might therefore be correct.

The book is written as a diaologue between an old fisherman (yuweng 漁翁) and a wood-cutter (qiaofu 樵夫) who discussed philosophical problems like the origin of Heaven and Earth, the creation of the ten thousand things, the human condition, and questions of the social system. In the end, the wood-cutter becomes aware that the Way of Heaven was endowed in the human heart.

The Yuqiao wendui is included in the series Baichuan xuehai 百川學海, Shuofu 說郛 and Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編.

Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, eds. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 2, 1549.