‘Following the Way of Heaven’: Exemplarism, Emulation, and Daoism

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Many ancient traditions recognise certain people as exemplars of virtue. I argue that some of these traditions incorporate a 'cosmic' mode of emulation, where certain of the qualities or aspects of the grounds or source of the world manifest, in human form, as virtues. If so, the ultimate objection of emulation is not a human being. I illustrate this with the forms of Daoist exemplarity found in the Book of Zhuangzi, and end by considering the charge that the aspiration to cosmic emulation is inhumane.
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First archival date: 2018-08-31
Latest version: 2 (2018-11-29)
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