CSC Monthly Seminar:The Dragon(s) of Sydney

21 September 2017

In traditional dili (principles of the earth) and fengshui (wind and water), both mountain ranges and watercourses are called ‘dragons’. The ridge lines of a mountain range are thought of as the dragon’s ‘veins’. The relationship between these dragon veins and water allows the development of vital qi, i.e. the energy/ether underlying the life force, through the development of topsoil and rivers. In continental Australia, the Great Dividing Range is the major dragon with traditional dili theory explaining why over 80% of the population of Australia live between this dragon and the coast. The theory even explains to an extent why downtown Sydney is where it is. A major dragon of Sydney can be traced from the Blue Mountains through the Hills district down the ridge line through the site of Government House to the Opera House. This paper focuses on an understanding of the dragon(s) of Sydney from a southern hemisphere perspective with discussion of the ritualisation of knowledge and southern culture. 

Michael Paton is an honorary associate of the School of Economics, University of Sydney, Australia. He completed a degree in geology at the University of New South Wales and an honours degree and PhD in Chinese studies at the University of Sydney. Michael’s major research interest is the history and philosophy of science in China, especially focusing on dili (the principles of the earth) and fengshui (wind & water). He was a co-founder of the Sustainable Management of Organisations Group (SMOG) research group and a Vice President (Asia) of the Australasian Association for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science. Publications include:  'Fengshui: a continuation of the art of swindlers?' (Journal of Chinese Philosophy, 2007); ‘The Geography of Styles of Reasoning: East and West; North and South’ (Philosophy East and West, 2015); ‘Cities created by Modernity: a Fengshui Perspective; (Journal of Chinese Philosophy, 2017); and Five Classics of Fengshui: Chinese Spiritual Geography in Historical and Environmental Perspective (Brill: Leiden, 2013).

Event details



CSC Monthly Seminar:The Dragon(s) of Sydney

Where New Law School Annexe SR 446
Eastern Avenue
The University of Sydney

When

21 September 2017


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