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papertwo - Daniel Patton Philosophy 213 Carolyn Culbertson...

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Daniel Patton Philosophy 213 Carolyn Culbertson Discussion Section 25921 Zhuangzi’s Taoist View of Death In Basic Writings , Zhuangzi puts death into a Taoist framework, relating it to his view of nature, to the problem of illusory distinctions, and to the problem of intuitive awareness of the Dao. To understand Zhuangzi’s view of death, one must first understand his overall Taoist philosophy. The Tao was written during a time of intense feudal warfare in ancient China between the 5 th and 2 nd centuries B.C. in what is called the period of “the hundred philosophers.” Laozi, the first Taoist writer, sought a solution to the violence and disorder that was plaguing China. In Tao Ching or Book of Changes , Laozi describes an intuitive way of understanding the relationship between the human experience and the harmony and natural order of the universe. Taoism, along with its traditional counterpart Confucianism has shaped the Chinese way of life for over two thousand years. Confucius, the founder of the Confucian school of philosophy, believed that mastering distinctions led to a harmonious understanding of the relational self (Roger Ames Lecture). In contrast, Laozi and Zhuangzi, two of the earliest Taoist philosophers, expressed a different understanding. The Taoists understood the process of letting go of distinctions as the path to universal understanding. Taoism accentuates that natural forms follow paths appropriate to themselves. As human beings are natural forms, Taoism emphasizes natural societies with no artificial institutions.
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This note was uploaded on 05/05/2008 for the course REL 101 taught by Professor Unno during the Spring '08 term at Oregon.

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papertwo - Daniel Patton Philosophy 213 Carolyn Culbertson...

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