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Zhuangzi’s philosophy: A three dimensional reconstruction

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In this chapter the author takes an experimental approach, observing the Zhuangzi’s philosophy as a coherent system of three dimensions. This historical and text-based orientation aims to approximate the construction of Zhuangzi’s thought by looking at internal evidence, rather than create a modern reconstruction. The first dimension is the mundane world of predicaments and inevitability (ming), from which Zhuangzi wants to escape. The second is the kingdom of spiritual freedom, which is where Zhuangzi can enjoy himself in transcendent carefree wandering (xiaoyao). The third dimension provides argumentation about the questions of why and how one can ascend from the mundane dimension to the transcendent one. This third dimension is comprised of the theories of equalizing things (qiwu) and not-knowing (buzhi). Throughout these three dimensions, one can see the penetration of Dao’s function and features.




Liu, X. (2015). Zhuangzi’s philosophy: A three dimensional reconstruction. In Dao Companion to Daoist Philosophy (pp. 193–219). Springer Netherlands.

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