Zhuangzi’s notion of transcendental life

Asian Philosophy 15 (1):1-18 (2005)

Abstract

In the post-metaphysical climate of the modern Western academy, Chinese thought is often seen as a happy pragmatism free from transcendental pretense. The article shows, on the contrary, that the early Daoist thinker Zhuangzi had not only one but at least two distinct notions of transcendence. The focus is on Zhuangzi's notion of transcendental life, or the life of Heaven as opposed to the life of man. Based on the explication of Zhuangzi's notion of transcendental life, the article provides a new understanding of Zhuangzi's crucial notion of ?wandering? (you). Finally it is argued that Zhuangzi's thought does not, as it is often thought, fall into naturalism

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Eske Møllgaard
University of Rhode Island

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