Tim Connolly
East Stroudsburg State University
A perspectivist theory is usually taken to mean that (1) our knowledge of the world is inevitably shaped by our particular perspectives, (2) any one of these perspectives is as good as any other, and (3) any claims to objective or authoritative knowledge are consequently without ground. Recent scholarship on Nietzsche, however, has challenged the prevalent view that the philosopher holds (2) and (3), arguing instead that his perspectivism aims at attaining a greater level of objectivity. In this essay, I attempt a structurally similar reinterpretation of Zhuangzi’s perspectivism. I argue that while the Chinese thinker sees all knowledge as perspective-dependent, he thinks that some perspectives are broader and more accurate than others. He utilizes shifts in perspective precisely in order to attain these superior perspectives, which constitute what he calls da zhi 大知, or “greater knowledge.” Whereas Nietzsche sees his perspectivism as methodologically continuous with the sciences, Zhuangzi’s “greater knowledge” has the goal of ensuring our survival and well-being in the everyday world
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DOI 10.1007/s11712-011-9246-x
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References found in this work BETA

Nietzsche on Truth and Philosophy.Maudemarie Clark - 1990 - Cambridge University Press.
Relativism.Maria Baghramian - 2004 - Routledge.
The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu.Burton Watson (ed.) - 1968 - Columbia University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Zhuangzi on ‘Happy Fish’ and the Limits of Human Knowledge.Lea Cantor - 2020 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 28 (2):216-230.
Guo Xiang on Self-so Knowledge.Paul J. D’Ambrosio - 2016 - Asian Philosophy 26 (2):119-132.
Zhuangzi.Harold Roth - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Spontaneity, Perspectivism, and Anti-Intellectualism in the Zhuangzi.Wai Wai Chiu - 2019 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 18 (3):393-409.

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