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Philosopher Paper, Introduction to Philosophy


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Laura Galan
Introduction to Philosophy
Philosopher Paper - Chuang-Tzu

"The Chinese philosopher Chuang Tzu (ca. 369-ca. 286 BC), also known as Chuang Chou, was the most brilliant of the early Taoists and the greatest prose writer of his time." "Not much is known of the life of Chuang Tzu. The Shih Chi (Historical Records, written about 100 BC) tells us that he was a contemporary of King Hui of Liang (370-319) and King Hsüan of Ch'i (319-301). Thus Chuang Tzu seems to have been a contemporary of Mencius (372-289), but neither was mentioned by the other in his extant writings. The Shih Chi also says that Chuang Tzu was born in Meng on the border of Shantung and Honan and that he held a petty official post for a time in Ch'iyüan. However, he seems to have lived most of his life as a recluse, "to be intoxicated in the wonder and the power of Nature." It is said that Chuang Tzu did not desire material things and had little interest in occupying positions of high status. He rather cared, enjoyed and was mystified by dwelling in natures surroundings as well as the personal freedoms that it offered. He cared little for anything relating to positions of higher office. "When Chuang Tzu was about to die, his disciples expressed a wish to give him a splendid funeral. But Chuang Tzu said, With the heavens and earth itself for my coffin and shell; with the sun, moon, and stars as my burial regalia; and with all creation to escort me to the grave—are not my funeral arrangements already well in hand?
We are afraid the vultures will eat the body of our master, said the disciples. To this Chuang Tzu replied, Above ground I shall be food for vultures; below I shall be food for worms and ants. Why rob one to feed the other?" (Giles & Quaritch, 1926) Here he is

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