By Steve Coutinho
"In this booklet the writer explores intimately the basic ideas of Daoist inspiration as represented in 3 early texts: the Laozi, the Zhuangzi, and the Liezi. Readers attracted to philosophy but unusual with Daoism will achieve a complete figuring out of those works from this research, and readers desirous about old China who additionally desire to snatch its philosophical foundations will savor the clarity and intensity of the author's causes. He writes a quantity for all readers, whether they have a historical past in philosophy or chinese language reports. a piece of comparative philosophy, this quantity additionally integrates the thoughts and strategies of up to date philosophical discourse right into a dialogue of early chinese language concept. The ensuing discussion relates historical chinese language concept to modern philosophical matters and makes use of smooth Western principles and methods to throw new interpretive mild on classical texts. instead of functionality as historic curiosities, those works act as residing philosophies in dialog with modern concept and adventure. the writer respects the multiplicity of Daoist philosophies whereas additionally revealing a particular philosophical sensibility, and he offers transparent factors of those complicated texts with no resorting to oversimplification" -- From publisher's website. Read more...
summary: "In this booklet the writer explores intimately the elemental ideas of Daoist concept as represented in 3 early texts: the Laozi, the Zhuangzi, and the Liezi. Readers attracted to philosophy but unusual with Daoism will achieve a accomplished realizing of those works from this research, and readers excited about historic China who additionally desire to seize its philosophical foundations will take pleasure in the readability and intensity of the author's reasons. He writes a quantity for all readers, whether they have a heritage in philosophy or chinese language reviews. a piece of comparative philosophy, this quantity additionally integrates the suggestions and strategies of up to date philosophical discourse right into a dialogue of early chinese language proposal. The ensuing discussion relates historical chinese language notion to modern philosophical concerns and makes use of glossy Western principles and methods to throw new interpretive mild on classical texts. instead of functionality as historic curiosities, those works act as residing philosophies in dialog with modern suggestion and event. the writer respects the multiplicity of Daoist philosophies whereas additionally revealing a particular philosophical sensibility, and he offers transparent factors of those advanced texts with no resorting to oversimplification" -- From publisher's web site
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Additional resources for An introduction to Daoist philosophies
The latter, they claim, is imposed by Western philosophers and favored by modern Chinese scholars, but has no genuine applicability to the cultural phenomena in question. 16 They conclude that anything that might be called Daoist “philosophy” can only be understood as an integral part of the religious tradition. Although it is true that the distinction between daojia and daojiao is not identical to the Western distinction between philosophy and religion, it does not follow that there is no way to understand the ancient Daoist texts independently of contemporary religious phenomena.
They tend to be jumbled anthologies of verse and narrative. Passages with different philosophical leanings are juxtaposed. Themes are not dealt with in a linear fashion, but are scattered throughout the texts; even individual paragraphs can contain a motley array of ideas. Reading them requires literary sensibility, time to ruminate imaginatively, and great patience. But the reader may still be at a loss as to how to extract their philosophical significances. The Laozi is composed primarily of concise verse; the Zhuangzi and the Liezi are for the most part juxtapositions of narratives of varying length, not always obviously concerned with the same theme.
It is written for two types of readers: those interested in philosophy who want to expand their range to include Daoism; and those interested in ancient China who wish to deepen their understanding of the philosophical issues raised by these texts. It is first and foremost a work of comparative philosophy, using current concepts and methods of discourse: explication of philosophical concepts, articulation of philosophical theories, analysis of the philosophical problems that arise from them, and most importantly, exploration of attempts to solve those problems and thereby contribute to the development of those concepts and theories.
An introduction to Daoist philosophies by Steve Coutinho