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Essays on Skepticism, Relativism, and Ethics in the Zhuangzi (Suny Series in Chinese Philosophy & Culture) (Suny Series, Chinese Philosophy & Culture) Paperback – April 11, 1996

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This is an unusally fine anthology. Individually the articles are clearly written and all offer some interesting comparisons or insights some are brilliantly original. As a whole they complement each other very well, so that having read them all, one has the sense of understanding a variety of proposed solutions to central problems in the Zhuangzi. The issues of relativism, skepticism, and morality in the Zhuangzi are central to the study of Taoism. These are extremely clear, knowledgeable and illuminating examples of comparative philosophy. Craig K. Ihara, California State University, Fullerton"

About the Author

Paul Kjellberg is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Whittier College.

Philip J. Ivanhoe is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Stanford University. He has also written Confucian Moral Self-Cultivation and Ethics in the Confucian Tradition: The Thought of Mencius and Wang Yang-ming.

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Product Details

  • Series: Suny Series, Chinese Philosophy & Culture
  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press (April 11, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0791428923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0791428924
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,190,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Philip J. Ivanhoe (Ph.D. Stanford University) is Chair Professor of East Asian and Comparative Philosophy and Religion at City University of Hong Kong, where he has taught since 2007. He specializes in the history of East Asian philosophy and religion and its potential for contemporary ethics. Ivanhoe is director of the Center for East Asian and Comparative Philosophy (CEACOP) (http://www6.cityu.edu.hk/sa/ceacop/) and the Laboratory on Korean Philosophy in Comparative Perspectives (http://www6.cityu.edu.hk/sa/kpcp/index.htm).

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Format: Paperback
The writings of the 4th century B.C. "Taoist" Zhaungzi (Chuang-tzu) are among the great classics of world literature and philosophy. They are also very difficult to understand. What are we to learn from the story of the cicada, dove and quail that laugh at the huge Peng bird? How does a butcher cutting up an ox teach us to lead our lives? What did Zhuangzi learn when he awoke from a dream, unsure whether he was Zhuangzi, who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly who is now dreaming that he is Zhuangzi?

This collection of essays represents a variety of approaches and perspectives. Some papers compare Zhuangzi to other philosophers (including Plato, Sextus Empiricus, Nagarjuna, and Derrida); several discuss Zhuangzi's views on language and skillful activity; and most take stands on previous debates (e.g., is Zhuangzi a mystic, skeptic, or relativist)? At the end of the volume there is an extensive bibliography of works about Zhuangzi.

I have used this text with talented undergraduates, who have found the essays readable and informative. Specialists like myself will also find much of value.

The only comparable collection is Victor Mair's Experimental Essays on Chuang-tzu, which includes important papers by A.C. Graham, Chad Hansen, and Lee Yearley. (The Kjellberg/Ivanhoe volume includes a new essay by Yearley, and a critique of Hansen's earlier work.)
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Essays on Skepticism, Relativism, and Ethics in the Zhuangzi (Suny Series in Chinese Philosophy & Culture) (Suny Series, Chinese Philosophy & Culture)
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