Rouzhi 柔知 “the Supple Way of Knowing”: Cognitive Traps and Embodied Intellectual Virtues

Journal of Chinese Philosophy 49 (3):201-213 (2022)
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Abstract

This essay explores the epistemological implications of the Daoist concept of rou 柔 or “suppleness” and its related notion rouzhi 柔知 or the “supple way of knowing.” It is comprised of three interrelated parts. Part one starts with a brief introduction to rou and its usage in early Chinese texts, where it outlines three important ways to approach it. In part two, it moves to a careful reading of female Daoist Cao Wenyi’s 曹文逸 Lingyuan Dadaoge 《靈源大道歌》 (The Song of the Ultimate Source of Great Dao or Dadaoge for short), where it explores her text as formulating a Daoist way of knowing based on an appreciation of rou. The third section discusses concrete connections between rou and specific epistemic virtues.

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Robin R. Wang
Loyola Marymount University

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