Chuang Tzu


Chuang-tzu or Chuang-tze (both: jwäng-dzŭ), c.369–c.286 BC, Chinese Taoist writer. Little is known about his life. He was a native of the state of Meng, on the border of present-day Shandong and Henan provinces, and is said to have lived as a hermit. The collection of essays attributed to him, called the Chuang-tzu, is distinguished by its brilliant and original style, with abundant use of satire, paradox, and seemingly nonsensical stories. Chuang-tzu emphasizes the relativity of all ideas and conventions that are the basis of judgments and distinctions; he puts forward as the solution to the problems of the human condition freedom in identification with the universal Tao, or principle of Nature. He is less political in his orientation than the earlier Taoist Lao Tzu. He is also called Chuang Chou.

See his complete works, tr. by B. Watson (1968).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Chuang Tzu: Selected full-text books and articles

The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu By Chuang Tzu; Burton Waston Columbia University Press, 2002
Chuang-Tzu for Spiritual Transformation: An Analysis of the Inner Chapters By Robert E. Allinson State University of New York Press, 1989
Experimental Essays on Chuang-Tzu By Victor H. Mair University of Hawaii Press, 1983
The Spirit of Chinese Philosophy By Yu-Lan Fung; E. R. Hughes Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1947
Librarian’s tip: Chap. IV "Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu"
A Comparative History of World Philosophy: From the Upanishads to Kant By Ben-Ami Scharfstein State University of New York Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: "Chuang-Tzu (4th c. B.C.E.): Saying Says Something but Not Something Fixed" begins on p. 119
Three Ways of Thought in Ancient China By Arthur Waley Doubleday, 1956
Librarian’s tip: "Stories of Chuang Tzu and Hui Tzu" begins p. 3
Chinese Ideas about Nature and Society: Studies in Honour of Derk Bodde By Charles Le Blanc; Susan Blader Hong Kong University Press, 1987
Librarian’s tip: "From Ontology to Cosmogony: Notes on Chuang Tzu and Huai-nan Tzu" begins on p. 117
Chinese Political Thought: A Study Based upon the Theories of the Principal Thinkers of the Chou Period By Elbert Duncan Thomas Prentice-Hall, 1927
Librarian’s tip: "Chuang Tzu" begins on p. 30
Disputers of the Tao: Philosophical Argument in Ancient China By A. C. Graham Open Court, 1989
Librarian’s tip: "From Yangism to Chuang-Tzu's Taoism: Reconciliation with Heaven by Return to Spontaneity" begins on p. 170
Masterworks of Asian Literature in Comparative Perspective: A Guide for Teaching By Barbara Stoler Miller M.E. Sharpe, 1994
Librarian’s tip: "Chuang Tzu" begins on p. 245
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