Philosophy Index

Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu was an ancient Chinese philosopher. He is a central figure in the practice and teachnings of Taoism, a religious and philosophical tradition that has spread throughout much of eastern Asia.

Lao Tzu’s name is also sometimes rendered as Laozi or Lao Tsu.

Traditionally, Lao Tzu is said to have lived during the Sixth Century BCE, though some historians say that he probably lived in the Fourth Century BCE. It may be the case that some of the teachings attributed to Lao-Tzu originated elsewhere, or that his personality may actually be a collection of others’ works, as is perhaps the case with the Greek poet, Homer.

Lao Tzu’s Taoist philosophy says that the fundamental goal in life is to connect with nature, both our inner nature and our role in the larger world. Taoism does not focus on a diety in the way that most religious do, and do not search for a concrete body of knowledge. The goal is, rather, to live in harmony with nature.



Name: Li Er
Title: Laozi (or Lao-Tzu)
Born: Unknown (6th or 4th Century BCE) Died: Unknown