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Chad Hansen's Chinese Philosophy Pages

      Daoist-oriented interpretations    


This site contains segments of an extended interpretive theory of Classical Chinese philosophy that takes Daoism (Taoism) as the philosophical center. The interpretive theory turns on a new, more philosophical reading of the Daoist philosopher Zhuangzi (ChuangTzu  莊子). My analysis highlights skeptical and relativist themes in his thinking. The crucial novelty is the assumption that Zhuangzi was a philosopher of language, like his close friend and philosophical interlocutor, Hui Shi, . He was deeply engaged with the linguistic and other insights of the Later Mohists (sometimes called Neo-Mohists or Dialectical Mohists) and the School of Names. His relation to the other famous Daoist, Laozi (Lao Tzu) is rather more indirect but their views are complementary in that both deal with 道daoguide at a higher level than do Confucians or Mohists.

The site also contains my related writings about Confucianism, Mohism, Legalism and some reflections on Asian values, human rights and rule of law.

If you find the interpretive approach and style worthwhile, you may be interested in my systematic and more complete treatment of Chinese thought. I am please to report that Oxford University Press has reissued my book, A Daoist Theory of Chinese Thought , in affordable paperback (at last!). You can find it at Oxford University Press or at Amazon.

I add  essays  and translation here as I finish them for publication and also include links to classes I teach at the University of Hong Kong. 

Much of this is work in progress and I would appreciate any feedback about, e.g., where it is hard to follow, makes historical errors, etc. Any Chinese characters in various postings use Big5 coding (gradually changing to unicode). Hover over note icons in the detail pages for a brief description of each article. 

If you have any comments, criticisms or suggestions please send them to me at:

 send mail to: chansen(at-sign)hku.hk  


Personal Information

Chad Hansen is a personal professor of philosophy at the University of Hong Kong. Click here for a publication list.) 

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