Clarity and survival in the zhuangzi

Asian Philosophy 11 (1):33 – 40 (2001)
Abstract
This paper is an analysis of the term ming ('clarity, 'illumination') in the Inner Chapters of the Zhuangzi. I show that though ming does involve the realization of the fundamental unity of opposites, the realization of this unity does not force the Zhuangzi to endorse a 'radical relativist' stance on morality, since the perspective of the Sage through ming is shown to be a privileged perspective. Overall, the Zhuangzi does not endorse any normative stance on morality. Rather, it endorses a way of life that will ensure one's own personal survival and the survival of this fundamental unity of opposites. The stories of the useless tree in Chapter 4, the skillful cook in Chapter 3, and the death of Hundun in Chapter 7 serve as examples for my interpretation.
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