Access to the full content is only available to members of institutions that have purchased access. If you belong to such an institution, please log in or find out more about how to order.




DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-G051-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved July 25, 2024, from

Article Summary

The Zhuangzi is a Daoist text usually associated with ‘Master Zhuang’ (fourth century bc), also known as Zhuang Zhou. Scholarly consensus regards the thirty-three chapters of this text to be composite, containing passages that offer different and sometimes even contradictory interpretations of basic Daoist tenets. The opening seven ‘inner chapters’ are traditionally thought to be from the hand of Master Zhuang himself, while the remaining ‘outer’ and ‘miscellaneous’ chapters are taken to be later elaborations and commentary by members of what retrospectively can be called a Master Zhuang school, or better, lineage. As a philosophical text, the Zhuangzi is for the most part addressed to the project of personal realization, and only derivatively concerned about social and political order. As one of the finest pieces of literature in the classical Chinese corpus, the Zhuangzi is itself an object lesson in marshalling every trope and literary device available to provide rhetorically charged flashes of insight into the most creative way to live one’s life in the world.

Citing this article:
Ames, Roger T.. Zhuangzi, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-G051-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

Related Searches


Related Articles