Liberation as Affirmation: The Religiosity of Zhuangzi and Nietzsche

Liberation as Affirmation: The Religiosity of Zhuangzi and Nietzsche

by Ge Ling Shang


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Uses the concept of religiosity to challenge traditional views of Nietzsche and Zhuangzi as nihilistic and anti-religious.

In this book, author Ge Ling Shang provides a systematic comparison of original texts by Zhuangzi (fourth century BCE) and Nietzsche (1846–1900), under the rubric of religiosity, to challenge those who have customarily relegated both thinkers to relativism, nihilism, escapism, pessimism, or anti-religion. Shang closely examines Zhuangzi’s and Nietzsche’s respective critiques of metaphysics, morals, language, knowledge, and humanity in general and proposes a conception of the philosophical outlooks of Zhuangzi and Nietzsche as complementary. In the creative and vital spirit of Nietzsche, as in the tranquil and inward spirit of Zhuangzi, Shang argues that a surprisingly similar vision and aspiration toward human liberation and freedom exists—one in which spiritual transformation is possible by religiously affirming life in this world as sacred and divine.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780791466681
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication date: 01/01/2007
Series: SUNY series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture Series
Pages: 198
Product dimensions: 5.96(w) x 9.06(h) x 0.47(d)

About the Author

Ge Ling Shang is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Grand Valley State University.

Table of Contents


1. Introduction

Reinterpreting Zhuangzi and Nietzsche
Perspective on Comparative Philosophy
Method and Plan

2. Zhuangzi’s Dao: A Way of Freedom

The Concept of Dao in Early Chinese History
Wuwu: A Deconstruction of Metaphysical Perspectives of Dao
Dao Throughs as One
Wuzhi: Equalizing Opinions is the Way of True Knowledge
Language without Words: Beyond Language and Silence
Wuwei or Non-doing: Against the Tradition of Morality
Xiao Yao You: A Spiritual Freedom Realized in this World

3. Nietzsche’s Philosophy of Life Affirmation

Nietzsche’s Mission: Revaluation of All Values
Genealogy: A New Way of Philosophizing
Truth, Knowledge, and Morals
Metaphysics as a Symptom of Human Decadence
Truths as Lies and Will to Truth as Ascetic Ideal
Language and Truth
Does Nietzsche Renounce the Existence of Truth?
A Genealogical Critique of Morality
Overcoming Metaphysics
The World of Appearances and the Will to Power
Religiosity: Liberation as Life Affirmation

4. An Interplay between Zhuangzi and Nietzsche

Goblet Words and Dionysian Dithyramb
Truth, Knowledge, and Interpretation
Revaluation and Devaluation: Beyond Good and Evil
Nature as Primary Unity
True Person and Übermensch: Living in the World
Ziran and Freedom: Life Affirmation
Further Reflections on Differences Between Zhuangzi and Nietzsche

5. Converging New Worlds: Zhuangzi, Nietzsche, and Contemporary Philosophy

Affirmation after Deconstruction: Zhuangzi and Nietzsche Challenge Postmodern Solutions
The Liberation of Thought: Zhuangzi and Nietzsche in Contemporary China
Philosophical Religiosity

Selected References

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