How to throw a pot: The centrality of the Potter's wheel in the zhuangzi

Asian Philosophy 20 (1):43 – 66 (2010)
Abstract
This article explains Zhuangzi's philosophy by analyzing the metaphor of the potter's wheel. I argue that this is one of the central images in the core chapters of the _Zhuangzi_. Together with two cognate images, it not only appears in some crucial passages, but also allows us to integrate a variety of seemingly independent topics. The article consists of four sections. I start by placing the potter's wheel against a background of other artisan tools. A second section focuses on three major themes revolving around the image of the potter's wheel in the _Zhuangzi_: stillness of mind, flexibility in response, and harmonizing and living out one's years. A third section discusses the negative portrayal of measurement tools in the _Zhuangzi_. In an afterword, I summarize the findings and revisit some methodological issues. The study shows that concrete images such as artisan tools may provide important clues for interpreting philosophical texts
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References found in this work BETA
Kim Chong Chong (2006). Zhuangzi and the Nature of Metaphor. Philosophy East and West 56 (3):370-391.
C. J. Eraser (1997). Review Article. Asian Philosophy 7 (2):155 – 159.
Citations of this work BETA
Edward Slingerland (2011). Metaphor and Meaning in Early China. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 10 (1):1-30.
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