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Chiu, Wai Wai. Zhuangzi’s Knowing-How and Skepticism
2018, Philosophy East and West 68(4), pp. 1062-1084
Added by: Lea Cantor

A common interpretation of the Zhuangzi holds that the text is skeptical only about propositional knowledge and not practical knowledge. It is argued here that this interpretation is problematic, for two reasons. The first is that there is no motivation for Zhuangzi to criticize propositional knowledge, given some general pre-Qin epistemological assumptions. The second is that Zhuangzi explicitly criticizes a certain kind of practical knowledge. It is then explained how Zhuangzi's skepticism can co-exist with the idea of "great knowledge."

Comment: This is a useful article for anyone interested in the question of scepticism in the Zhuangzi - a foundational text in the Daoist tradition of classical Chinese philosophy. The article is written in a way that is accessible to those with little or no background in the Zhuangzi, Daoism, or classical Chinese. However, some basic knowledge of classical Chinese philosophy as a whole is required to follow the argument of the paper. The paper offers a useful overview of a number of scholarly controversies surrounding the scope and nature of Zhuangzi's scepticism, and how they relates to interpretive issues surrounding the so-called 'skills stories' of the Zhuangzi.

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