Empty, yet it gives a supply that never fails;
Whitehead, Alfred North. Adventures of Ideas. New York: Free P, 1967.
It is as difficult to capture Taoist thought for analysis and explication as it is to capture the Platonic Ideal Forms, and for the same reason. Plato's dialogues, comments Whitehead, "do not bear the aspect of patient induction from the facts. They are dominated by speculation and dialectics" (136). But it turned out that his pupil Aristotle could not do enough to systematize ways of dealing with facts. Laotse's relativism, meanwhile, is radical:
The Taoist view of reality is that what changes and cannot be trusted is exactly what seems the most real: the palpable, physical universe or sentient experience. What is therefore the most authentic reality of being, is the "core," or what cannot be experienced palpably. In Chinese thought one seems therefore inclined to yield to the poetry of the incomprehensible. In Greek thought, one seems rather more inclined to figure out a good way of thinking about it.
Wells, H. G. A Short History of the World. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1922.