The Zhuangzi: Reading Beyond the "Inner Chapters"

Collaborative Group

Professor Franklin T. Perkins




Although the Zhuangzi is well known as one of the most important works of early Chinese literature and philosophy, most of the text has been ignored, with a focus only on the first seven “Inner” chapters. The primary goal of this workshop is to read selected chapters (or groups or parts of chapters) from the “Outer” and “Mixed” sections as texts in their own right. The focus will be on philosophical and literary analysis, but will include some discussion of their possible date, affiliation, historical significance, and so on, as well as the broader hermeneutic issues of reading a text composed like the Zhuangzi. Aside from better understanding the Zhuangzi, the workshop will shed greater light on the diversity of positions that went into the formation of Daoism.