Class #24

Zhuangzi and Value Relativity

Reading:  Zhuangzi, pp. 27-39

Lecture PowerPoint Deck

Your readings for Monday include Chapters 4 and 5 of the Inner Chapters, "In the World of Man" and "The Mark of Utmost Virtue." These two chapters collect a number of anecdotes that relate to the theme of value relativity which we first encountered in the Dao de jing, and which pervades the Zhuangzi from its opening tale of the Peng Bird. As you read, ask yourself who the heroes of the Zhuangzi are, and why they are the heroes. And what, after all, if the mark of utmost virtue?  In class, one of the key features of these chapters that I'm going to focus on is the emerging theme of timeliness, which represents another form of the link between Zhuangzi and Confucian thought.