The Happy Fish of the Disputers

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

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
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DOI 10.1080/09552367.2012.709361
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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.
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