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Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies
ISSN 0577-9170; DOI 10.6503/THJCS


Strategic Interference in the Zhuangzi and the Rethinking of Perspectivism

Vol. 48 No.4  12/2018


Strategic Interference in the Zhuangzi and the Rethinking of Perspectivism


Liao Yu-cheng









Key words

the Zhuangzi, strategic interference, action, perspectivism, relativism


The Zhuangzi has often been labeled a work of relativism, and as a result its self-denials have been questioned. C.Y. Liu 劉昌元 asserted that the relativistic thought of Zhuangzi is a kind of perspectivism, whereas Chun-sing Siu 蕭振聲advanced a different opinion, contending that the relativism of the Zhuangzi does not fall into self-denial but rather supports a theory of action. How should we consider the fact that these two scholars focused on the same issue yet came to different conclusions? In this article, I first clarify the commonalities and differences between perspectivism and the position advanced in the Zhuangzi. I then examine the problem of how the Zhuangzi can be read as a theory of human action, interpreting the approach to action in the Zhuangzi through the concept of “strategic interference” (celüe ganrao 策略干擾). In short, in the panic of troubled times when there occurred frequent disasters, the Zhuangzi taught people how to take action through “strategic interference,” or “interference as xiaoyao逍遙,” in response to the demands to stay alive, remain true, and engage in political criticism.


Author: Liao Yu-cheng
Genre: Article
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