The Happy Fish of the Disputers

Asian Philosophy 22 (3):239-256 (2012)

Abstract
The happy fish episode from the outer chapters of the Zhuangzi poses enormous difficulty for interpreters. While it may appear to surprisingly resemble the dialectic in Western philosophy, any attempt to analyse it in terms of the patterns of inference familiar to the West is often frustrated by the ostensible queerness that defies such treatment. The following examination of the dialogue in the episode is intended to address the difficulty and to provide a reasoned explanation for both the surface resemblance and apparent queerness. I suggest that the dialogue becomes perfectly intelligible, if it is read against the backdrop of the disputations practiced in ancient China. My contention is that the real purpose of the dialogue is to expose the fundamental unreliability of the logic of the disputers by means of the logic itself.
Keywords Zhuangzi, Hui Shi, happy fish, paradox, Daoism, Mohist logic
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1080/09552367.2012.709361
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 43,728
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

Must We Know What We Say?Matthew Weiner - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (2):227-251.
``Must We Know What We Say?&Quot.Matt Weiner - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (2):227-251.
Knowing and Asserting.Timothy Williamson - 1996 - Philosophical Review 105 (4):489.
The Ways of Paradox and Other Essays.W. V. O. Quine - 1966 - Harvard University Press.
The Ways of Paradox and Other Essays.W. V. O. Quine - 1966 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 28 (4):596-600.

View all 20 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Relatively Happy Fish.Chad Hansen - 2003 - Asian Philosophy 13 (2 & 3):145 – 164.
The Relatively Happy Fish Revisited.Norman Y. Teng - 2006 - Asian Philosophy 16 (1):39 – 47.
Strict Finitism and the Happy Sorites.Ofra Magidor - 2012 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 41 (2):471-491.
Natural Freedom.Daniel C. Dennett - 2005 - Metaphilosophy 36 (4):449-459.
Zhuangzi's Notion of Transcendental Life.Eske Møllgaard - 2005 - Asian Philosophy 15 (1):1-18.
Happiness.Theodore Benditt - 1974 - Philosophical Studies 25 (1):1 - 20.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2012-08-29

Total views
31 ( #275,593 of 2,264,657 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #452,972 of 2,264,657 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature