New Book: Freedom’s Frailty

SUNY has just published Christine Tan’s book Freedom’s Frailty: Self-Realization in the Neo-Daoist Philosophy of Guo Xiang’s ZhuangziIf you would like to either read more about the book or purchase it please click here. The publisher’s description:

This book starts with the radical premise that the most coherent way to read the Zhuangzi is through Guo Xiang (d. 312 CE), the classic Daoist text’s first and most important commentator, and that the best way to read Guo Xiang is politically. It then goes into Guo’s notion of self-realization (自得 zide) which is a conception of freedom that introduces a “dependence-based autonomy,” in which freedom is something we achieve and realize through our connection to others. In sum, the book makes a new contribution to Chinese philosophical scholarship as well as philosophical debates on freedom.

Moral Cultivation in the Premodern World: Craft and Transformation in Later Stoics, the Zhuangzi, and Zen

Yale’s Global Philosophy Reading Group warmly invites you to a symposium entitled Moral Cultivation in the Premodern World: Craft and Transformation in Later Stoics, the Zhuangzi, and Zen. The symposium will take place next Thursday, April 4th in HQ 136, from 3:30 to 6:00 PM, with a reception (food from House of Naan, Prosecco, and sparkling water) to follow. Please see the description, program, and abstracts below for more details. We hope to see you there!

If you know in advance that you’ll attend, please send a quick email to james.brown-kinsella@yale.edu so we can order enough food and drink for the reception.

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Episode 4 of “This Is the Way”: Daoist Persuasion

In the fourth episode of This Is the Way, we return to the familiar format of doing a close reading of a classical passage and connecting it to a theme. Our theme is “persuasion” and the passage is the dialogue between Confucius and Yan Hui in the Zhuangzi (ch. 4). It’s a great passage — somehow, not so widely discussed as others! But it should be of interest to anyone interested in rhetoric, the power of reasons (or lack thereof), arguments (in at least two senses of “arguments”), and the delicate games we play with our egos and the egos of others when we attempt to persuade.

Somehow, we just immensely enjoyed talking about this passage.

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Episode 1 of “This Is the Way”: Daoist Detachment

Richard Kim and Justin Tiwald are pleased to present a new podcast series on Chinese Philosophy, This Is the Way. The administrators of Warp, Weft, and Way have generously agreed to host supporting materials and discussions of specific podcast episodes.  Links to support pages for all published episodes can be found here.

The first episode is titled “Daoist Detachment.” In fact, it’s really just about the distinctive sort of detachment that seems to be at the heart of some (“core”) passages of the Zhuangzi. In this episode, Richard and Justin introduce themselves and talk about the motivation for the podcast series, the idea of “philosophical double-vision” that makes Zhuangzi-style detachment possible, and some worries about this sort of detachment. Below you will find a more detailed accounting of topics, some specific passages and books or articles mentioned in the episode, and an opportunity to “weigh in” and share your views about the topic (or about the hosts’ wild claims about the text).

Your feedback is very welcome! Please leave a comment below, mail the hosts at ChinesePhilosophyPodcast@gmail.com, or follow them on X @ChinesePhilPod.

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Book of Interest: “A Walk in the Night with Zhuangzi”

SUNY Press has recently published Kuan-yun Huang’s new book A Walk in the Night with Zhuangzi: Musings on an Ancient Chinese Manuscript. In the book, Huang probes deeply into the manuscript in order to observe unappreciated aspects of many of the transmitted literary sources and come to a more definite conclusion about the text itself. Please click here for the publisher’s website and more information on the book itself.

New Book: Ziran: The Philosophy of Spontaneous Self-Causation


I’d like to announce the publication of my new book Ziran: The Philosophy of Spontaneous Self-Causation. Targeted specifically at students, this book takes a key concept form early Chinese metaphysics—ziran 自然—and applies it to several fields of contemporary scholarship.

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New Book: Dao Companion to the Philosophy of the Zhuangzi

Springer has published the Dao Companion to the Philosophy of the Zhuangzi, edited by Kim-chong Chong. “It covers textual, linguistic, hermeneutical, ethical, social/political and philosophical issues, with the latter including epistemological, metaphysical, phenomenological and cross-cultural (Chinese and Western) aspects.”

A reviewer on Amazon warned “Only 34 of the 46 chapters are in the Kindle version.” Those interested might want to look into/verify this.

New Article: Beaney, Swimming Happily in Chinese Logic

Michael Beaney has recently published “Swimming Happily in Chinese Logic” in the Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society; full text is available on-line here. The abstract:

Dipping in Chinese waters
pulled and pushed by Mo
we see how Zhuangzi caught us
like the happy fish we know
we follow their flow
words matching as they sort us
Enjoy!