Journal of Chinese Philosophy 13 (4):429-443 (1986)

Robert E. Allinson
Soka University
If we peruse the Chuang Tzu (Zhuangzi) and the Nietzschean corpus, we will find numerous examples of evaluative statements. And yet, both Chuang Tzu and Nietzsche are well known for their critique of conventional value distinctions. Time and again they argue that our conventional value distinctions are invalid and sometimes even harmful. Are these two philosophers justified in making what appear to be self-negating claims? This essay offers a line of argument to justify their employment of evaluative language while at the same time disclaiming its validity. My essential argument is that there are two levels of consciousness in both of these philosophers and that evaluative language is transcended at one of these levels but still possesses limited validity at the other. I assume, I believe correctly, that the purpose of philosophy for both philosophers is self-transformation. Given this functional direction of philosophizing, I divide the types of statements I will analyze into three standpoints: (1) “evaluative standpoint,” or statements which I take to be primarily evaluative in nature. “Class i” refers to the evaluative standpoint which is the standpoint not yet transcended and to be transcended; (2) “transevaluative standpoint”, or statements which I take to be primarily transevaluative in nature. “Class ii” refers to the transevaluative standpoint which is the standpoint to be achieved; (3) “transevaluative resultant values,” or statements which are primarily statements of the resultant value which are the product of a value free standpoint. “Class iii” refers to the resultant concrete values which are the product of following the transevaluative standpoint. My analyses lead to the conclusion that evaluative language is employed in its appropriate level of consciousness and transcended in the other level. In short, I propose that Chuang Tzu and Nietzsche can have their cake, and eat it, too.
Keywords Nietzsche  Chuang Tzu  Self-transformation
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DOI 10.1111/j.1540-6253.1986.tb00023.x
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Forgetting Morality: Reflections on a Theme in Chuang Tzu.Antonio S. Cua - 1977 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 4 (4):305-328.

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