By Steve Coutinho
"In this ebook the writer explores intimately the elemental suggestions 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 accomplished knowing of those works from this research, and readers interested by historic China who additionally desire to clutch its philosophical foundations will savor the clarity and intensity of the author's reasons. He writes a quantity for all readers, whether they have a historical past in philosophy or chinese language reports. a piece of comparative philosophy, this quantity additionally integrates the suggestions and techniques of up to date philosophical discourse right into a dialogue of early chinese language inspiration. The ensuing discussion relates historical chinese language suggestion to modern philosophical concerns and makes use of sleek Western principles and ways to throw new interpretive mild on classical texts. instead of functionality as old curiosities, those works act as dwelling philosophies in dialog with modern concept and adventure. the writer respects the multiplicity of Daoist philosophies whereas additionally revealing a particular philosophical sensibility, and he presents transparent reasons of those advanced texts with no resorting to oversimplification" -- From publisher's website. Read more...
summary: "In this e-book the writer explores intimately the basic recommendations of Daoist concept as represented in 3 early texts: the Laozi, the Zhuangzi, and the Liezi. Readers drawn to philosophy but strange with Daoism will achieve a entire realizing of those works from this research, and readers enthusiastic about old China who additionally desire to take hold of its philosophical foundations will delight in the readability and intensity of the author's causes. He writes a quantity for all readers, whether they have a history in philosophy or chinese language reports. a piece of comparative philosophy, this quantity additionally integrates the innovations and strategies of up to date philosophical discourse right into a dialogue of early chinese language suggestion. The ensuing discussion relates historic chinese language proposal to modern philosophical concerns and makes use of glossy Western principles and ways to throw new interpretive gentle on classical texts. instead of functionality as old curiosities, those works act as residing philosophies in dialog with modern idea and event. the writer respects the multiplicity of Daoist philosophies whereas additionally revealing a particular philosophical sensibility, and he offers transparent factors of those advanced texts with out resorting to oversimplification" -- From publisher's web site
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Additional info for An introduction to Daoist philosophies
The Laozi is composed primarily of concise verse; the Zhuangzi and the Liezi are for the most part juxtapositions of narratives of varying length, not always obviously concerned with the same theme. They do not engage extensively in the articulation or refinement of definitions, and important terms are often used in different contexts that indicate more than one meaning. Perhaps most notably, there are relatively few explicit arguments whose purpose is to convince the reader of the truth of a conclusion.
The presuppositions of any worldview allow for certain kinds of possibilities, limiting what may or may not happen; what occurs in the stories will therefore exemplify those possibilities, and thereby help to reveal those presuppositions. Each element of the story has a philosophical function in relation to other elements. A specific character who is able to perform certain tasks, for example, is being used to make a general point about the conditions and possibilities of human action. The unfolding of events, and relevant evidence from other stories, texts, and contexts provides further evidence for either the development or the correction of philosophical interpretations.
And to say this is, as we shall see, to say something profoundly significant. Moreover, the single-minded concentration on dao draws attention away from several other concepts that are central to understanding Daoist thought, apart from which the significance of Daoist philosophy and indeed of dao itself cannot be understood. 1 What makes the Daoist dao distinctive is that it is the dao of nature, of absence, of potency, returning, and the ancestral. To locate the “essence” of Daoism in the concept of an unspeakable dao is, to borrow a popular slogan from Zen Buddhism, to mistake the finger for the moon.