Symbols of the Yi King or The Symbols of the Chinese Logic of Changes

Z.D. Sung

Paragon Print Reprint Corp, New York 1969. Originally published in Shanghai in 1934.


This is an interesting volume packed with ideas that prefigures a lot of recent work: Charlie Higgin's spacial and polynomial characterization of the gua; my lattice characterization of the gua; even Lofting's dichotomy work. However, the author never seems to develop any of the rich potentials in each idea, but is content to simply present the initial concept. The result is that the book can appear as a collection of arbitrary correspondences.

My review tends to focus on those areas of the work that are or particular interest to me. As a result I have included fairly extensive analyses of the mathematical and logical sections of Sung's material and ignored much of the rest. I hope to expand the review to include reasonable coverage of these other areas in due course.

As I believe that this is an important book with a strong relevance to much contemporary research, I have taken the liberty of including a number of scans of diagrams in order to help the reader understand my description of Sung's work. To see the scan at it's full size right click (in Netscape) and select "View Image".

I shall now consider some of the sections in more detail. The contents of the book (with links to my reviews) are as follows: