Well-Being and Daoism

In Guy Fletcher (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being. Routledge. pp. 56-69 (2015)
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In this chapter, I explicate several general views and arguments that bear on the notion and contemporary theories of human welfare, as found in two foundational Daoist texts, the Daodejing and the Zhuangzi. Ideas drawn from the Daodejing include its objections to desire theories of human welfare and its distinction between natural and acquired desires. Insights drawn from the Zhuangzi include its arguments against the view that death is bad for the dead, its attempt to develop a workable theory of well-being for those who are skeptical about such theories, and the prudential benefits of what I call "philosophical double-vision."



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