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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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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: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,678,036 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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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By DocCaligari on September 29, 1998
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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