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

Asian Philosophy 20 (1):43 – 66 (2010)
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
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09552360903577584
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,189
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
George Lakoff (1980). Metaphors We Live By. University of Chicago Press.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Edward Slingerland (2011). Metaphor and Meaning in Early China. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 10 (1):1-30.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

31 ( #152,993 of 1,940,952 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #333,819 of 1,940,952 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.