Hans-Georg Moeller and Paul J. D’Ambrosio, Genuine Pretending: On the Philosophy of the Zhuangzi, Columbia University Press, 2017, 221 pp., $35.00, ISBN 9780231183994.
Reviewed by Susan Blake, Bard College
“A romp through ‘the vast wilds of open nowhere'” — Roger Ebert
“Better than any existing work on humor” — Aristotle
“Nothing more than a success” — Guy Smiley
“A demonstration of nothing . . . in a technical sense” — Ford Prefect
“A tour de force through the ‘homeland of non-even-anything'” — Steven Colbert
This book presents a novel reading of the Zhuangzi that illuminates its humor and presents it as responding to philosophical concerns of its day. To the extent that these philosophical concerns are also those of the present day — the search for a sane and healthy response to the impossible demands of sincerity — we can, through the discussion here, gain an understanding of an alternative to the unsatisfying ethical approaches of both sincerity and authenticity. The book is impressive in bringing together diverse passages in this difficult text under one interpretation.
Hans-Georg Moeller and Paul J. D’Ambrosio will be giving a lecture on their new book
on the philosophy of the Zhuangzi at Ghent University on June 1, 2018. The lecture is entitled
“Genuine Pretending: A Daoist Mode of Existence”.
Venue: Ghent University, Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, Campus Boekentoren (Blandijnberg 2), Ghent (Belgium), 5th floor, room 150.018. Time: 14.00 – 15.30. The poster is available here.
The Department of East Asian Languages & Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania is delighted to announce an interdisciplinary symposium in honor of Nathan Sivin at Perry World House, 3803 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104, on Oct. 14-15, 2017.
The symposium is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required. Just click here if you’d like to attend:
Michael Sandel and Paul D’Ambrosio have edited a book on Chinese philosophy titled “Encountering China: Michael Sandel and Chinese Philosophy” that will come out on Harvard University Press in early January 2018. A flyer with more information is available here, and the Table of Contents follows.
Authority versus Authenticity: 12th International Conference on Daoist Studies
Beijing Normal University, Beijing, 1-4 June, 2018
[PENDING APPROVAL BY THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION (expected by December)]
This year’s theme is the relationship of inner truth in contrast (and conflict) with outer circumstances, an issue that pervades Daoist history and culture, since Daoists highly value naturalness and integrity that often crosses or even runs in opposition to mainstream values, notions, and practices—both without and within the religion itself.