David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Chinese Philosophy 37 (2):312-329 (2010)
The Primitivist (responsible for chapters 8-11 of the heterogeneous Zhuangzi) has largely been interpreted as just another exponent of the philosophy of the Laozi or Daodejing. This is a shame, because the Primitivist is an idiosyncratic thinker whose theories do not simply reiterate those found in the Laozi. In this essay, I argue that even though the Primitivist embraced some of the values of the Laozi’s brand of Daoism, (e.g. simplicity, harmony with nature, being rid of knowledge, etc.) he would have censured its prescriptions; he had little faith that order could be achieved through an emphasis on minimalism, by doing nothing, or by advocating a change (or reversal) in values. Instead, the Primitivist suggests that the only way to curb the massive disorder of the late Warring States period was to purge the world of its root causes—namely, of all the artifice that kept the masses in competitive, violent strife—and suppress their reappearance. Without such a purge, the masses would be helpless to lead a natural, instinctual, pre-reflective mode of existence. By advocating such a strategy, the Primitivist seems to have membership in what must be a very exclusive group: he is a Daoist who thinks the world can only be brought into order by doing something—indeed, doing a whole lot of unpleasant, nasty things. I thus situate the Primitivist within the trend toward authoritarianism that characterized the period in which he wrote (3rd century BCE).
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Tan Mingran (2008). Emptiness, Being and Non-Being: Sengzhao's Reinterpretation of the Laozi and Zhuangzi in a Buddhist Context. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 7 (2):195-209.
Jung H. Lee (2007). Preserving One's Nature: Primitivist Daoism and Human Rights. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 34 (4):597-612.
David E. Cooper (1994). Is Daoism 'Green'? Asian Philosophy 4 (2):119 – 125.
Qiang Yu & Huang Deyuan (2009). The Philosophies of Laozi and Zhuangzi and the Bamboo-Slip Essay Hengxian. Frontiers of Philosophy in China 4 (1):88 - 115.
L. E. E. H. (2007). Preserving One's Nature: Primitivist Daoism and Human Rights. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 34 (4):597–612.
JeeLoo Liu, The Daoist Conception of Truth: Laozi's Metaphysical Realism Vs. Zhuangzi's Internal Realism.
Sung-Hae Kim (2008). The Immortal World. Environmental Ethics 30 (2):135-157.
Ronnie Littlejohn & Jeffrey Dippmann (eds.) (2011). Riding the Wind With Liezi: New Perspectives on the Daoist Classic. State University of New York.
John Divers (1996). Supervenience for Operators. Synthese 106 (1):103-12.
Dirk Greimann (2000). Explicating Truth: Minimalism and Primitivism. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 31 (1):133-155.
Added to index2010-05-04
Total downloads22 ( #170,714 of 1,796,218 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #208,698 of 1,796,218 )
How can I increase my downloads?