Please wait a minute...

Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Front. Philos. China    2010, Vol. 5 Issue (2) : 196-211
Research articles
The Advantages, Shortcomings, and Existential Issues of Zhuangzi’s Use of Images
BAO Zhaohui,
ISchool of Liberal Arts, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China;
Download: PDF(261 KB)  
Export: BibTeX | EndNote | Reference Manager | ProCite | RefWorks
Abstract Zhuangzi is considered a creative poet-philosopher because of his use of imaginative images. He used the imaginative images of his system to construct the world of the Dao. He left the essence of material things as they are to speak for the mystery of existence itself, and let them express both the state of and the dream for human freedom. Zhuangzi’s way of using images shows his own lack of the understanding about images, and his lack of adequate assessments. He used images in accord with his own personal preferences and fixed characteristics. He also had a tendency to equate the Dao which he experienced in his mind with the Dao itself. These shortcomings limit his improving and understanding of the Dao, so that his Dao failed to become more open to a wider existence.
Keywords Zhuangzi      image      natural images      imaginative images      Dao which is experienced in one’s heart      
Issue Date: 05 June 2010
 Cite this article:   
BAO Zhaohui. The Advantages, Shortcomings, and Existential Issues of Zhuangzi’s Use of Images[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2010, 5(2): 196-211.
E-mail this article
E-mail Alert
Articles by authors
BAO Zhaohui
Related articles from Frontiers Journals
[1] John Robert Williams. A Couple Nagging Interpretive Difficulties in Zhuangzi Studies vis-à-vis William James on the Ethics and Psychology of Belief[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2019, 14(4): 593-611.
[2] Lisa Raphals 瑞麗. When Virtues, Roles and Duties Fail: Early Greek and Chinese Accounts of Akrasia[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2019, 14(1): 29-46.
[3] Ellen Y. Zhang. The Face/Facelessness of the Other—A Levinasian Reading of the Ethical of the Zhuangzi [J]. Front. Philos. China, 2017, 12(4): 533-553.
[4] Alan Fox. A Process Interpretation of Daoist Thought[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2017, 12(1): 26-37.
[5] David Chai. On Pillowing One’s Skull: Zhuangzi and Heidegger on Death[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2016, 11(3): 483-500.
[6] Joanna Guzowska. The Spatiality of Cognition in the Zhuangzi[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2015, 10(3): 415-429.
[7] Mark L. Farrugia. To Die or Not to Die: Zhuangzi’s Three Immortalities[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2015, 10(3): 380-414.
[8] Paul J. D’Ambrosio. Authenticity in the Zhuangzi ? Contemporary Misreadings of Zhen 真and an Alternative to Existentialism[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2015, 10(3): 353-379.
[9] CHEN Guying. The Tradition of Emotive Writing in the Zhuangzi and Its Echoes in Later Generations[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2015, 10(3): 340-352.
[10] Wai Wai Chiu. Goblet Words and Indeterminacy:A Writing Style that Is Free of Commitment[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2015, 10(2): 255-272.
[11] John Sallis. Effacements of Form[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2013, 8(4): 641-654.
[12] Heinrich Geiger. Sign, Image and Language in The Book of Changes (Yijing 易经)[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2013, 8(4): 607-623.
[13] Chris Fraser. Xunzi Versus Zhuangzi: Two Approaches to Death in Classical Chinese Thought[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2013, 8(3): 410-427.
[14] LI Shuhua. Natural Philosophy of Zhouyi and Life Practice[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2012, 7(2): 179-190.
[15] HAO Changchi. Lao-Zhuang and Augustine on the Issue of Suspension in the Philosophy of Religion[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2011, 6(1): 75-99.
Full text