Contempt, Withdrawal and Equanimity in the Zhuangzi

Emotion Review 15 (3):189-199 (2023)
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The Zhuangzi, a 4th century BCE Daoist text, is sceptical about the political culture of its time. Those who debated conceptions of a good life were hostile to the views of others. They were intolerant and at times contemptuous of others who did not embody their values. In contrast to such negativity, the Zhuangzi promotes equanimity. The equanimity of the sagely person is grounded in a balance she maintains between engagement and withdrawal. Engaging critically, she problematises the lack of diversity in their options for a good life. By withdrawing, she refuses to be party to the squabbles that perpetuate intolerance. The paper aims to show how equanimity is possible, thereby articulating a new angle on emotions in the Zhuangzi.



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Karyn L. Lai
University of New South Wales

Citations of this work

Introduction: Contempt, Ancient and Modern.Douglas Cairns - 2023 - Emotion Review 15 (3):161-167.

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References found in this work

Xunzi: The Complete Text.Eric L. Hutton - 2014 - Princeton: Princeton University Press. Edited by Eric L. Hutton.
Contempt as a moral attitude.Michelle Mason - 2003 - Ethics 113 (2):234-272.

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