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Essays on Skepticism, Relativism and Ethics in the Zhuangzi (Suny Series in Chinese Philosophy & Culture)

Paul Kjellberg

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ISBN 10: 0791428915 / ISBN 13: 9780791428917
Published by State Univ of New York Pr, 1996
Condition: Good Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Essays on Skepticism, Relativism and Ethics ...

Publisher: State Univ of New York Pr

Publication Date: 1996

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Good

Edition: First Edition - may be Reissue.

About this title

Synopsis:

The Chinese philosophical text Zhuangzi was written by Zhuangzi in the fourth century BCE. With humor and relentless logic Zhuangzi attacks claims to knowledge about the world, especially evaluative knowledge of what is good and bad or right and wrong. This book is about the man and the text.

The Chinese philosophical text Zhuangzi, written in part by a man named Zhuangzi in late fourth century B.C.E. China, is gaining recognition as one of the classics of world literature. Writing in beautiful prose and poetry, Zhuangzi mixes humor with relentless logic in attacking claims to knowledge about the world, particularly evaluative knowledge of what is good and bad or right and wrong. His arguments seem to admit of no escape. And yet where does that leave us? Zhuangzi himself clearly does not think that our situation is utterly hopeless, since at the very least he must have some reason for thinking we are better off aware of our ignorance.

This book addresses the question of how Zhuangzi manages to sustain a positive moral vision in the face of his seemingly sweeping skepticism. Zhuangzi is compared to the Greek philosophers Plato and Sextus Empiricus in order to pinpoint more exactly what he doubts and why. Also examined is Zhuangzi’s views on language and the role that language plays in shaping the reality we perceive. The authors test the application of Zhuangzi’s ideas to contemporary debates in critical theory and to issues in moral philosophical thought such as the establishment of equal worth and the implications of ethical relativism. They also explore the religious and spiritual dimensions of the text and clarify the relation between Zhuangzi and Buddhism.

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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