Essays on Skepticism, Relativism, and Ethics in the Zhuangzi

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The Chinese philosophical text Zhuangzi was written by Zhuangzi in the fourth century BCE. With humor and relentless logic Zhuangzi attacks claims to knowledge about the world, especially evaluative knowledge of what is good and bad or right and wrong. This book is about the man and the text.
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Editorial Reviews

Zhuangzi, a Chinese text of the late fourth century BCE mostly written by a man of the same name, is gaining recognition as a classic of world literature for its beautiful prose and poetry, its humor, and its apparently irrefutable logic attacking claims of knowledge about the world and what is right and wrong with it. Here six essays query how he remained so cheerful with such a seemingly dreary philosophy. They compare him to Greek philosophers, analyze his thoughts on and use of language, the religious and spiritual dimensions, and applications to modern critical theory and moral philosophy. Two of the essays are reprinted from Philosophy East & West, the issue not identified. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791428924
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1996
  • Series: Series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Notes on Conventions

1. Sextus Empiricus, Zhuangzi, and Xunzi on "Why Be Skeptical?"
Paul Kjelberg

2. Skeptical Strategies in the Zhuangzi and Theatetus
Lisa Raphals

3. Zhuangzi and Nagarjuna on the Truth of No Truth
David Loy

4. Zhuangzi's Attitude Toward Language and His Skepticism
Eric Schwitzgebel

5. Language: The Guest of Reality--Zhuangzi and Derrida on Language, Reality, and Skillfulness
Mark Berkson

6. Cook Ding's Dao and the Limits of Philosophy
Robert Eno

7. Zhuangzi's Understanding of Skillfulness and the Ultimate Spiritual State
Lee H. Yearley

8. Spontaneity and Education of the Emotions in the Zhuangzi
Joel Kupperman

9. Was Zhuangzi a Relativist?
Philip J. Ivanhoe

Name Index
Subject Index

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