David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Asian Philosophy 7 (3):207 – 220 (1997)
Chad Hansen is one of the strongest proponents of the view that the important second chapter of Zhuangzi's Inner Chapters (The Qi Wu Lun) reveals Zhuangzi to be a relativistic sceptidst. Hansen argues that Zhuangzi is a sceptic because he is first and foremost a relativist. Hansen's argument is essentially that Zhuangzi's perspectivism, his belief that one's linguistic and conceptual perspective determines what one claims to know, makes him a thorough going relativist and sceptic. I agree that Zhuangzi is a perspectivist, but disagree with Hansen's portrayal of him as a relativistic sceptic. I first show that there is an important ambiguity in Hansen's argument. I then proceed to argue that important passages in the Qi Wu Lun (in particular the butterfly dream passage,) reveal serious problems with Hansen's interpretation of Zhuangzi's philosophical stance, I maintain that Zhuangzi is neither a sceptic nor a perspectival relativist. He is rather a perspectival realist.
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References found in this work BETA
Hilary Putnam (1987). The Many Faces of Realism. Open Court.
Lisa Raphals (1994). Skeptical Strategies in the "Zhuangzi" and "Theaetetus". Philosophy East and West 44 (3):501-526.
Citations of this work BETA
Xiaoqiang Han (2010). A Butterfly Dream in a Brain in a Vat. Philosophia 38 (1):157-167.
Xiaoqiang Han (2009). Interpreting the Butterfly Dream. Asian Philosophy 19 (1):1 – 9.
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