Abstract

Recent interest in the Zhuangzi by Western philosophers arises from the sense that Zhuangzi offers a form of philosophical theory, such as perspectivism. A key issue for this line of interpretation is how best to resolve alleged contradictions between the central philosophical claims of the "Qiwulun" with other claims made in the text. A more radical reading of this chapter will avoid these problems if it can find some way to understand this chapter as philosophically interesting because it scrupulously avoids and rejects making any philosophical claims. This reading will be developed by focusing on Zhuangzi's assertion: "The person who understands does not use the inflexible 'that's it' (wei shi), but dwells in the ordinary (yu zhu yong)." I will argue that, understood in context, this assertion takes Zhuangzi out of the philosophical game. According to this interpretation, Zhuangzi's writings have a philosophical significance similar to that of Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations as expressed in his dictum "The real discovery is the one that lets me stop doing philosophy when I want to."

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1898
Print ISSN
0031-8221
Pages
pp. 372-394
Launched on MUSE
2008-07-16
Open Access
No
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