Asian Philosophy 25 (3):238-252 (2015)

Authors
Robert E. Allinson
Soka University
Abstract
I argue that the main theme of the Zhuangzi is that of spiritual transformation. If there is no such theme in the Zhuangzi, it becomes an obscure text with relativistic viewpoints contradicting statements and stories designed to lead the reader to a state of spiritual transformation. I propose to reveal the coherence of the deep structure of the text by clearly dividing relativistic statements designed to break down fixed viewpoints from statements, anecdotes, paradoxes and metaphors designed to lead the reader to a state of spiritual transformation. Without such an analysis, its profound stories such as the butterfly dream and the Great Sage dream will blatantly contradict each other and leave us bereft of the wisdom they presage. Unlike the great works of poetic and philosophic wisdom such as the Dao de Jing and the Symposium, the Zhuangzi will be reduced to a virtually unintelligible, lengthy, disjointed literary ditty, a potpourri of paradoxical puzzles, puns and parables, obscure philosophical conundrums, monstrous interlocutors and historical personages used as mouthpieces authoritatively arguing on behalf of viewpoints humorously opposite to what they historically held.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1080/09552367.2015.1076985
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Zhuangzi: Basic Writings.Burton Watson - 2003 - Columbia University Press.
Sleeping Beauty and the Dreaming Butterfly: What Did Zhuangzi Doubt About?Thomas Ming - 2012 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 11 (4):497-512.
Snakes and Dragons, Rat’s Liver and Fly’s Leg: The Butterfly Dream Revisited.Robert E. Allinson - 2012 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 11 (4):513-520.

View all 11 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Critique of Imperial Reason: Lessons From the Zhuangzi.Dorothy H. B. Kwek - 2019 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 18 (3):411-433.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Butterfly, the Mole and the Sage.Robert Elliot Allinson - 2009 - Asian Philosophy 19 (3):213-223.
The Relatively Happy Fish.Chad Hansen - 2003 - Asian Philosophy 13 (2 & 3):145 – 164.
Zhuangzi and Relativistic Scepticism.Ewing Y. Chinn - 1997 - Asian Philosophy 7 (3):207 – 220.
Self and the Dream of the Butterfly in the Zhuangzi.Kai-Yuan Cheng - 2014 - Philosophy East and West 64 (3):563-597.
Zhuangzi's.Frank W. Stevenson - 2006 - Philosophy East and West 56 (2).
Zhuangzi's "Dao" as Background Noise.Frank W. Stevenson - 2006 - Philosophy East and West 56 (2):301 - 331.
“I Have Lost Me”: Zhuangzi’s Butterfly Dream.Zhihua Yao - 2013 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 40 (3-4):511-526.
Sorrow and the Sage: Grief in the Zhuangzi.Amy Olberding - 2007 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 6 (4):339-359.
The Relatively Happy Fish Revisited.Norman Y. Teng - 2006 - Asian Philosophy 16 (1):39 – 47.
The Reevaluation of Zhuangzi.Yan Beiming - 1981 - Contemporary Chinese Thought 12 (4):63-89.
Interpreting the Butterfly Dream.Xiaoqiang Han - 2009 - Asian Philosophy 19 (1):1 – 9.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-09-22

Total views
517 ( #17,499 of 2,519,810 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
41 ( #20,952 of 2,519,810 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes