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  1. Zhuangzi on ‘Happy Fish’ and the Limits of Human Knowledge.Lea Cantor - 2020 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 28 (2):216-230.
    The “happy fish” passage concluding the “Autumn Floods” chapter of the Classical Chinese text known as the Zhuangzi has traditionally been seen to advance a form of relativism which precludes objectivity. My aim in this paper is to question this view with close reference to the passage itself. I further argue that the central concern of the two philosophical personae in the passage – Zhuangzi and Huizi – is not with the epistemic standards of human judgements (the established view since (...)
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  • The Happy Slave Isn't Free: Relational Autonomy and Freedom in the Zhuangzi.Mercedes Valmisa - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (3):e12569.
    This paper challenges the view that contentment leads to personal freedom and autonomy and argues for a relational and exercise concept of de facto freedom in the Zhuangzi 莊子. I first review influential interpretations of freedom in the Zhuangzi that equate freedom with contentment and nonfrustration, starting with Guo Xiang's 郭象 (d. 312 CE). By putting these interpretations in dialog with contemporary social philosophy (Christman, Meyers, Pettit, Elster, and Khader), I reflect on the two seminal problems of the psychologizing causal (...)
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  • Zhuangzi’s Ironic Detachment and Political Commitment.Bryan Van Norden - 2016 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 15 (1):1-17.
    Paul Gewirtz has suggested that contemporary Chinese society lacks a shared framework. A Rortian might describe this by saying that China lacks a “final vocabulary” of “thick terms” with which to resolve ethical disagreements. I briefly examine the strengths and weaknesses of Confucianism and Legalism as potential sources of such a final vocabulary, but most of this essay focuses on Zhuangzian Daoism. Zhuangzi 莊子 provides many stories and metaphors that can inspire advocates of political pluralism. However, I suggest that Zhuangzi (...)
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  • Patient Moral Relativism in the Zhuangzi.Yong Huang - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (4):877-894.
    Moral relativism familiar in the Western philosophical tradition, according to David Lyons, is either agent relativism or appraiser relativism or appraiser group). As Lyons has convincingly argued, they are both problematic. However, in the ancient Chinese Daoist classic, the Zhuangzi, we can find a different type of moral relativism, which I call patient relativism. In the essay, I aim to argue in what sense Zhuangzi is a patient relativist and how patient relativism can avoid the problem of agent relativism and (...)
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  • The Ethical Stance of the “Qiwulun (Discourse on Corresponding Things)”.Massimiliano Lacertosa - 2019 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 18 (2):183-196.
    This essay analyses the second chapter of the Zhuangzi 莊子, the “Qiwulun 齊物論.” After a brief examination of its main ideas, it will be argued that the “Qiwulun” needs to be considered not as an equalization that makes everything indistinguishable but as a discourse on corresponding things. A more attentive analysis of this correspondence among the myriad things will lead to the consideration of their mutual transformation. The conclusion is that, contrary to the ontotheological nature of Western metaphysics that imposes (...)
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  • The Zhuangzi and You 遊: Defining an Ideal Without Contradiction.Alan Levinovitz - 2012 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 11 (4):479-496.
    You 遊 is a crucial term for understanding the Zhuangzi . Translated as “play,” “free play,” and “wandering,” it is usually defined as an ideal, playful Zhuangzian way of being. There are two problems with this definition. The first is logical: the Zhuangzi cannot consistently recommend playfulness as an ideal, since doing so vitiates the essence of you —it becomes an ethical imperative instead of an activity freely undertaken for its own sake. The second problem is performative: arguments for playful (...)
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  • Style, Substance, and Philosophical Methodology: A Cross-Cultural Case Study.Julianne Chung - 2018 - Dialogue 57 (2):217-250.
    One challenge involved in integrating so-called ‘non-Western’ philosophies into ‘Western’ philosophical discourse concerns the fact that non-Western philosophical texts frequently differ significantly in style and approach from Western ones, especially those in contemporary analytic philosophy. But how might one bring texts that are written, for example, in a literary, non-expository style, and which do not clearly advance philosophical positions or arguments, into constructive dialogue with those that do? Also, why might one seek to do this in the first place? This (...)
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  • Principles, Virtues, or Detachment? Some Appreciative Reflections on Karen Stohr’s On Manners.Bryan W. Van Norden - 2016 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 15 (2):227-239.
    Karen Stohr’s book On Manners argues persuasively that rules of etiquette, though conventional, play an essential moral role, because they “serve as vehicles through which we express important moral values like respect and consideration for the needs, ideas, and opinions of others”. Stohr frequently invokes Kantian concepts and principles in order to make her point. In Part 2 of this essay, I shall argue that the significance of etiquette is better understood using a virtue ethics framework, like that of Confucianism, (...)
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  • The Emotion of Shame and the Virtue of Righteousness in Mencius.Bryan W. Van Norden - 2002 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 2 (1):45-77.
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  • Zhuangzi the Poet: Re-Reading the Peng Bird Image.Lian Xinda - 2009 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 8 (3):233-254.
    The image of the Peng bird, which opens the Zhuangzi text, is not the product of metaphysical reasoning. An inspiring example of soaring up and going beyond, the image is used to broaden the outlook of the small mind; its function is thus more therapeutic than instructional. With its rich poetic and experiential content, the image of the Peng refuses to be reduced to an abstract concept, or a mere signifier of certain philosophical position. Misreading of the image results from (...)
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  • Perspectivism as a Way of Knowing in the Zhuangzi.Tim Connolly - 2011 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 10 (4):487-505.
    A perspectivist theory is usually taken to mean that (1) our knowledge of the world is inevitably shaped by our particular perspectives, (2) any one of these perspectives is as good as any other, and (3) any claims to objective or authoritative knowledge are consequently without ground. Recent scholarship on Nietzsche, however, has challenged the prevalent view that the philosopher holds (2) and (3), arguing instead that his perspectivism aims at attaining a greater level of objectivity. In this essay, I (...)
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  • The Emotion of Shame and the Virtue of Righteousness in Mencius.Bryan Van Norden - 2002 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 2 (1):45-77.
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