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Title: An exposition of the Zhuangzi’s zhiyan (至言)
Authors: Koo, Hao Wei
Keywords: Humanities::Philosophy::Chinese
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: The meaning of zhiyan (至言) in the Zhuangzi varies. In chapter 12, zhiyan is antithetical to suyan (俗言) or “customary sayings”. On the other hand, zhiyan is prima facie an expression employed for heart-mind cultivation in chapter 21. Yet again, contrarily, zhiyan is what “eliminate [language expressions]” in chapter 22. Why do they mean differently? How do they relate to one another? Which of them appears most relevant with other parts of the Zhuangzi? When left unexplored, zhiyan may prove to be a challenging term to comprehend. This paper tries to make sense of zhiyan’s differing appearances. It speculates that the appearances of zhiyan can, overall, be discussed under the backdrop of knowing. Specifically, the appearances of zhiyan in chapters 12–22 were discussed under different understandings of knowing such that it is possible to interpret them progressively, and relate them to the etymology of zhi (至), so as to be able to achieve a meaningful interpretation of zhiyan. In this, I argue that the understanding of zhiyan in chapter 22 is the most relevant with other parts of the Zhuangzi.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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