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Zhuangzi and the Nature of Metaphor
Abstract

While it is well known that Zhuangzi uses metaphor extensively, there is much less appreciation of the role that it plays in his thought—a topic that is investigated in this essay. At the same time, this investigation is closely concerned with questions about the nature of metaphor. Comparisons are made between a central metaphorical structure in the Zhuangzi on the one hand and contemporary views of the nature of metaphor by Donald Davidson and by Lakoff and Johnson on the other. It is hoped that these comparisons will help to illuminate the central metaphorical structure and its role in the philosophy of the Zhuangzi.