Imagination in the Zhuangzi: the madman of Chu’s alternative to Confucian cultivation (English)

In: Asian Philosophy   ;  27 ,  1  ;  30-42  ;  2017

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This paper examines the role of the imagination in the Zhuangzi. There are many avenues through which the various types of imaginations in the Zhuangzi could be investigated, but this paper will concentrate on only one, namely the use of imagination to criticize Confucius’ way. Specifically, the Zhuangzi finds Confucius’ views on virtuosity, moral cultivation, and social roles to include exceedingly limited imagined restrictions. The Daoist classic thereby creates (in a somewhat paradoxical fashion) stories to inspire the imagination of its readers, with the goal of broadening the ways in which people understand morality, society, and themselves. Accordingly, the Zhuangzi suggests that people can ‘zigzag’ through life, temporarily taking on different perspectives or roles, without cultivating a corresponding sense of self. Imagination is key for promoting this type of existential mode of existence—what the Zhuangzi calls ‘genuine’ (zhen 真).

Table of contents – Volume 27, Issue 1

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The tables of contents are generated automatically and are based on the data records of the individual contributions available in the index of the TIB portal. The display of the Tables of Contents may therefore be incomplete.

1
Mind and space: a Confucian perspective
Chen, Xunwu | 2017
16
Confucianism, food, and sustainability
Christensen, Jan Erik | 2017
30
Imagination in the Zhuangzi: the madman of Chu’s alternative to Confucian cultivation
D’Ambrosio, Paul J. | 2017
43
May one murder the innocent for the sake of faith in God or filial piety to parents? A comparative study of Abraham’s and Guo’s stories
Liu, Qingping | 2017
59
Buddhist idealism and the problem of other minds
Perrett, Roy W. | 2017
69
Chinese modernization and the sinification of Marxism through the lens of Li Zehou’s philosophy
Rosker, Jana | 2017
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