Full text
Wai Wai CHIU. The Debate over Xing in the Outer Chapters of the Zhuangzi
2022, Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 21, 549–567
, Contributed by: I Xuan Chong
Contemporary discussions of xing are often inspired by the Confucian tradition, but recent studies have brought the Zhuangzi 莊子 to the table as a viable alternative. In this essay, I present three different accounts of xing 性 in the Outer Chapters: (1) the primitivists who emphasize body vitality and simple life, (2) the Huang-Lao 黃老 school that emphasizes the balance among different things and the overall cosmological order, and (3) skill stories that look at individual skill masters rather than people in general or the role of the human species in the cosmos, entertain only the descriptive dimension of xing, and cast doubt on the normative status of xing. These three accounts can be read as responding to each other, and each shares certain themes with the Inner Chapters in different ways. Together, they demonstrate the complexity of the Zhuangzi’s view on xing and complicate attempts of cross-textual comparison.

Comment: Best read together with Kim-chong Chong's "Zhuangzi and the Issue of Human Nature". Prior knowledge of the Zhuangzi is helpful.

Export citation in BibTeX format

Export text citation

View this text on PhilPapers

Export citation in Reference Manager format

Export citation in EndNote format

Export citation in Zotero format

Share on Facebook
Share on LinkedIn
Share by Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *