Lecture%208 - Zhuangzi, the Master Player, I John Huizinga,...

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Lecture 5: Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu, ca. 369-286 BCE) I. Play and Freedom
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Zhuangzi: the Text, the Man, and the Times, Our present text Zhuangzi consists of three parts: Inner Chapters (1-7), Outer Chapters (8-22), and Mixed Chapters (23-33). This received text is derived from the Guo Xiang (d. 312 CE) edition. Only the Inner Chapters are generally considered by scholars as the work of Zhuang Zhou (ca. 369-286 BCE), a contemporary of the second leading Confucian thinker Mengzi.
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Daodejing and Zhuangzi Compared Daodejing seems to have been written for the ruling elite, while is for the common, individual person. “How to govern?” is one important concern in , while is concerned with “personal freedom and happiness.” Laozi is more practical, concerned with preservation of nature and life, while Zhuangzi is more romantic, creating a world of fantasy, imagination, and fables. For Zhuangzi, taking the low position is not enough; he aims at transcending all distinctions, relativities, and oppositions.
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Zhuangzi, the Man, His Time and Ideas
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Unformatted text preview: Zhuangzi, the Master Player, I John Huizinga, Homo Ludens : [Play] is a free activity standing quite consciously outside ordinary life as being not serious, but at the same time absorbing the player intensely and utterly. It is an activity connected with no material interest, and no profit can be gained by it. It proceeds within its own proper boundaries of time and space according to fixed rules and in an orderly manner. [Zhuangzi would find the last sentence objectionable.] Zhuangzi plays with language, with contemporary thinkers or other earlier thinkers ideas, with culture, and with life itself. Ivanhoe, pp. 212-213, Why not lash them together like big buoys and go floating on the rivers and lakes instead of worrying that they were too big to dip into anything? . . . Ivanhoe, pp. 212-213, Zhuangzi debates Huizi on useful and useless. Ch. 1: Useful and Useless...
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Lecture%208 - Zhuangzi, the Master Player, I John Huizinga,...

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