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Religions 2019, 10(1), 30;

The Big and the Great: A Reconstruction of Zhuangzi’s Philosophy on Transcendence

Center of Value & Culture, School of Philosophy, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
Received: 29 November 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 25 December 2018 / Published: 4 January 2019
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This essay attempts to demonstrate the logic of Zhuangzi in his different attitudes toward “debate on big and small” by bringing into discussion the two versions of translation in the English languages, which provide a new approach to analyze the difference in the controversial commentaries on Zhuangzi. This essay points out that the ideal of “free and easy wandering” is a type of positive pleasure. By means of rational thinking and imagination, one’s searching for the external values is turned into the internal pursuit for wisdom in the transformation of things. Zhuangzi’s theory of transcendence not only provides the subject with multi-perspectives, but also substitutes the self-identity with self-value. Through the interaction between self-awareness and self-reaction, the subject can be unified with the great Dao through purposive activities. However, Guo Xiang’s commentary cancels the necessity of self-cultivation and negates the purposefulness of the subject, which underestimates the value of Zhuangzi’s construction of transcendence. View Full-Text
Keywords: positive pleasure; purposiveness; self-awareness; self-reflection; no-self positive pleasure; purposiveness; self-awareness; self-reflection; no-self
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Jiang, L. The Big and the Great: A Reconstruction of Zhuangzi’s Philosophy on Transcendence. Religions 2019, 10, 30.

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