P. Kjellberg and P.J. Ivanhoe (eds.), Essays on Skepticism, Relativism, and Ethics in the Zhuangzi (Suny Press, 1996).
This paper begins by observing a tension in the Zhuangzi (or Chuang
the one hand, Zhuangzi often advocates radical skepticism and relativism.
On the other hand, he often makes a variety of factual claims and endorses
and condemns various ways of living, in apparent disregard of any skeptical
or relativist considerations. I resolve this tension by suggesting that
Zhuangzi does not mean what he says when he advocates skepticism and relativism
- that he aims in the apparently skeptical and relativist passages not
to convince anyone of the truth of these positions, but rather simply to
have a certain sort of anti-dogmatic, therapeutic effect. I support this
position with a variety of arguments centered around the idea that Zhuangzi
does not feel the need to take seriously that which can be put into words.
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