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By Steve Coutinho

"In this e-book the writer explores intimately the elemental strategies of Daoist inspiration as represented in 3 early texts: the Laozi, the Zhuangzi, and the Liezi. Readers attracted to philosophy but unexpected with Daoism will achieve a entire realizing of those works from this research, and readers fascinated with historic China who additionally desire to take hold of its philosophical foundations will delight in the clarity Read more...

summary: "In this booklet the writer explores intimately the elemental thoughts of Daoist proposal as represented in 3 early texts: the Laozi, the Zhuangzi, and the Liezi. Readers attracted to philosophy but unexpected with Daoism will achieve a complete knowing of those works from this research, and readers thinking about historic China who additionally desire to clutch its philosophical foundations will take pleasure in the readability and intensity of the author's factors. He writes a quantity for all readers, whether they have a heritage in philosophy or chinese language stories. a piece of comparative philosophy, this quantity additionally integrates the options and strategies of latest philosophical discourse right into a dialogue of early chinese language proposal. The ensuing discussion relates historical chinese language suggestion to modern philosophical concerns and makes use of sleek Western rules and methods to throw new interpretive gentle on classical texts. instead of functionality as historic curiosities, those works act as dwelling philosophies in dialog with modern suggestion and event. the writer respects the multiplicity of Daoist philosophies whereas additionally revealing a particular philosophical sensibility, and he presents transparent factors of those complicated texts with no resorting to oversimplification" -- From publisher's site

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Extra info for An introduction to Daoist philosophies

Sample text

As I was finalizing the manuscript, I realized that the Utopian strand of Daoist thought might well have the conceptual resources for providing a naturalistic solution to this problem; I sketch the gist of the solution, but do not have the space here to develop it further. In addition to the chapter on the Liezi, Chapters Five and Seven also present notable material. Chapter Five traces the development of Utopian and Syncretist thought in the Outer and Miscellaneous Chapters. Chapter Seven provides an analysis of the philosophy of skill in the Zhuangzi and Liezi.

The goal of all these, he explains, is zhi 治, government, orderly administration or rule. He praises the Ruists for their emphasis on the relationships of propriety between ruler and minister, father and son, husband and wife, and elder and younger. The Yinyang thinkers, he tells us, correctly understand the importance of following the seasons, while the Mohists propose the strengthening of agriculture and economizing of expenditures. The Legalists promote the division of labor for distinct official duties and a hierarchical ordering that honors the ruler, while the Linguistic thinkers emphasize the importance of the correct adjustment of names and objects, and the tests of merit and blame.

He claimed to have been visited by the dao, in the person of Laozi himself, and instructed to establish an earthly institution whose political structure mirrored that of the celestial spirits. 14 The term “jing,” previously used for Confucian classics and then for Buddhist sutras, thus endowed the text with an extra sense of scriptural authority. Scriptural titles were also eventually given to the Zhuangzi and the Liezi. The Zhuangzi acquired the reverential title “Nan Hua Jing,” the Scripture of the Southern Flower, and the Liezi acquired the honorific title “Chong Xu Zhen Jing,” the Genuine Scripture of Overflowing Emptiness.

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