This is the main page for information about PHIL2450 Zhuangzi (Spring 2007) at the University of Hong Kong

This will be a "problem based learning" course. We will discover why the philosophy of the Zhuangzi is controversial by exploring three different lines of interpretation: skepticism, relativism and monism. The instructor will discuss the three positions and the problems in their formulation, introduce some textual theory and consider whether interpretation can be made independent of its details. He will then survey briefly the philosophical context in which we seek to place the writings in the Zhuangzi. Zhuangzi is an accomplished philosopher and understanding requires thinking philosophically along with him. Thus, we need to understand the issues and assumptions of ancient philosophical discourse. We will make this search for context in our first reading from the Zhauangzi text: the "Below in the Empire" chapter 天下. It contains the earliest "History of Chinese Philosophy." Then, in the traditional Chinese style of leading students through the Zhuangzi, we will consider the more obvious themes of the "Autumn Floods" chapter 秋 水 before going on to the most challenging inner chapters. We will discuss three of these, "Free and easy wandering" 逍 遙 遊, "Key to nurturing Life" 養 生主 and a thorough analysis of the "Ordering Thing-discourse" chapter齊 物 論.

We will have a discussion group for this class. You can log-in with your user-name and password.