David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 6 (4):325-337 (2007)
In Daoist philosophy, the self is understood as an individual interdependent with others, and situated within a broader environment. Within this framework, the concept ziran is frequently understood in terms of naturalness or nature while wuwei is explained in terms of non-oppressive government. In many existing accounts, little is done to connect these two key Daoist concepts. Here, I suggest that wuwei and ziran are correlated, ethical, concepts. Together, they provide a unifying ethical framework for understanding the philosophy of the Daodejing. I explore the meaning of ziran as self-so-ness or, in human terms, as pertaining to an individualâs spontaneity. The appropriate response to the spontaneity of individuals is to avoid, insofar as possible, imposing or using restrictive norms and methods, that is, wuwei. According to this view, ziran and wuwei offer an account of ethics that attends to core notions of interdependent selfhood, including mutuality, relationality, interdependence, symbiosis, and responsiveness.
|Keywords||Daoist philosophy Environmental philosophy Environmental ethics ziran wuwei|
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Chad Hansen (1992). A Daoist Theory of Chinese Thought: A Philosophical Interpretation. Oxford University Press.
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Citations of this work BETA
Steven Burik (2010). Self and Other: Continental and Classical Chinese Thought. Philosophy Compass 5 (9):735-744.
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