A Different Type of Individualism in Zhuangzi

Abstract
Although being widely considered as only a Western tradition, individualism is not absent in traditional Chinese philosophy and culture. In some of the classic Chinese philosophic works such as Zhuangzi, we can clearly identify some elements which can be appropriately attributed to “individualism”, such as the awareness of individual “self” as an independent and unique existence, advocating individual freedom and liberty, emphasizing on the value and dignity of individual life, favoring individuals’ autonomy and privacy, pursuing unconstrained development in personality and spirituality. However, due to its particular pre-Qin social cultural background and its unique Daoist philosophic origin, this kind of individualism in Zhuangzi has its own unique characteristics, which has made it distinguishable from the variety of other individualist thoughts emerged in different times and places in the West. Zhuangzi has a dynamic and open view on individual or “self”, he does not consider individuals as fixed and interchangeable “atoms” but as dynamic, changing and unique beings, he set the unlimited and indefinable Dao as the only and ultimate source for individuals to conform to, thus to release individual mind into an realm of infinite openness and freedom. Zhuangzian individualism is “inward” rather than “outward”, which means while concentrating on individuals’ freedom of spirit and innate nature, it cares less about individuals’ outside material interests and rights in social reality, and does not encourage competition and rivalry among individuals. The special type of individualism in Zhuangzi has a profound influence on Chinese culture, providing a spiritual space for the development of individuality and personality in ancient China. It also provides an alternative understanding of individual as an existence.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 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 Translate to english
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive Keqian Xu, A Different Type of Individualism in Zhuangzi
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

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Xu Keqian 徐克謙 (2011). A Different Type of Individualism in Zhuangzi. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 10 (4):445-462.
Eric Mack (1999). In Defense of Individualism. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 2 (2):87-115.
Hans Bernhard Schmid (2008). Plural Action. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 38 (1):25-54.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2012-02-21

Total downloads

200 ( #2,622 of 1,098,879 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

81 ( #588 of 1,098,879 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


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