New PDF release: An Introduction to Daoist Thought: Action, Language, and

By Eske Møllgaard

ISBN-10: 0203944828

ISBN-13: 9780203944820

ISBN-10: 041542383X

ISBN-13: 9780415423830

This can be the 1st paintings to be had in English which addresses Zhuangzi’s notion as a complete. It offers an interpretation of the Zhuangzi, a e-book in thirty-three chapters that's the most vital number of Daoist texts in early China. the writer introduces a posh interpreting that exhibits the harmony of Zhuangzi’s notion, particularly in his perspectives of motion, language, and ethics. by way of addressing methodological questions that come up in analyzing Zhuangzi, a hermeneutics is built which makes knowing Zhuangzi’s non secular concept attainable. A theoretical contribution to comparative philosophy and the cross-cultural examine of spiritual traditions, the e-book serves as an creation to Daoism for graduate scholars in faith, philosophy, and East Asian reviews.

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Additional resources for An Introduction to Daoist Thought: Action, Language, and Ethics in Zhuangzi (Routledge Studies in Asian Religion and Philosophy)

Sample text

1995: 51–2) We should see in this Legalist view a specific interpretation of a more general idea that became dominant in ancient China. This idea can be formulated as follows: it is possible to reach the Way (dao) through technical mastery, for at its height technical mastery of the world becomes indistinguishable from the Way itself. From this point of view, Confucian ritual mastery follows the same logic as Legalist state craft, for in both cases it is a question of developing something man-made (rituals or laws) to the point where it appears completely natural.

In the view of Zhuangzi, human life is a dream. We think that we are awake and with dense, stubborn confidence we say: “Ah, there is a ruler! ” (2/83). For we know our way around in our world, and we take it for real. But this absorption in the symbolic order, which is characteristic of human life, is a defense against the inevitable (budeyi) course of life ending in death. Zhuangzi wants us to overcome this defense mechanism, and therefore he repeats again and again that we must give up our love and lust for human life, and that the perfected person views life and death as one unity and is not affected by the transformation of one into the other (2/73, 4/44, 5/5, 5/30, 6/1, 6/8, 6/24, and 6/69).

Both Confucius and Mencius have tremendous faith in their own prescriptions – one will, as Zigong says in the Zhuangzi passage discussed above, see great results from using little energy – but at the time of Mencius the spontaneous force of the symbolic order had weakened, and Mencius could only hope to recover this spontaneity in essence by turning inwards towards human nature (xing ). According to Mencius human nature naturally tends towards the good. Mencius does not claim that the good is actually effective in the world – the endless strife of the Warring States period (403–221 ) would make a mockery of such a claim – but that moral impulses are present in their incipient stage and can be the place from which the saving power arises in a time of brutality, craftiness, and cunning.

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An Introduction to Daoist Thought: Action, Language, and Ethics in Zhuangzi (Routledge Studies in Asian Religion and Philosophy) by Eske Møllgaard


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