Penumbra Unbound, The: The Neo-Taoist Philosophy of Guo Xiang
The Penumbra Unbound is the first English language book-length study of the Neo-Taoist thinker Guo Xiang (d. 312 C.E.), commentator on the classic Taoist text, the Zhuangzi. The author explores Guo’s philosophy of freedom and spontaneity, explains its coherence and importance, and shows its influence on later Chinese philosophy, particularly Chan Buddhism. The implications of his thought on freedom versus determinism are also considered in comparison to several positions advanced in the history of Western philosophy, notably those of Spinoza, Kant, Schopenhauer, Fichte, and Hegel. Guo’s thought reinterprets the classical pronouncements about the Tao so that it in no way signifies any kind of metaphysical absolute underlying appearances, but rather means literally “nothing.” This absence of anything beyond appearances is the first premise in Guo’s development of a theory of radical freedom, one in which all phenomenal things are “self-so,” creating and transforming themselves without depending on any justification beyond their own temporary being.
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activity affirms allow assertion attain become called causality cause Chinese cognition comfortable commentary Confucius conscious considered darkness deliberate dependent determinate discussed distinction duhua encounters entity existence external Fichte follows forgetting freedom Guo says Guo Xiang Guo’s conception Guo’s notion heaven Hegel Ibid idea identity imitate independence inner interaction interpretation Laozi leaves the traces Liezi lone-transformation means merely ming Mohists morality Mou Zongsan Mozi mutual nature necessity Non-Being nonactivity ofthe one’s determinacy one’s own determinacy oneself opposite particular passage penumbra perspective position precisely realm relation right and wrong ritual Ruism Ruist sage sage’s self-forgetting self-rightness self-so sense simply singularity snake scales spontaneity Tang Tang’s Taoist teleological term things Tiantai tion trace-cognition traceless transformation ultimately unconditioned unconscious unify unity valuation vanishing volition Wang Wang Bi Wing-tsit Chan Xiang Xiu Xiang yu xing xuanxue Zhuang Zhou Zhuangzi text ziran ZZJS