Studying the Philosophical Thoughts of Chuang Tzu Through Nan Hua Zhen Jing

Topics: Chinese philosophy, Philosophy, China Pages: 5 (1523 words) Published: July 31, 2013

The main content:
1. Generalizing the conditions which form the philosophical thoughts of Chuang Tzu.
Regarding the socio-economic conditions:
Chuang Tzu lived in the Warring States Period. This period witnessed the increasing popularity of iron tools marked a revolutionary innovation of production tools and the development of social productive. Agriculture, industry and economy also developed during the Warring States Period. Feudal relations of production gradually formed, consequently when the Warring States period started, it marked the end of mode at the slavery which following a pattern of the Orient. The era of Warring States is trouble times. The great transformation of all aspects in this period has left many stamps which affect every fields of life and set out the philosophical problems for the time.

Regarding the premise thoughts:
Chuang Tzu lived in a period corresponding to the philosophical summit of Chinese thought — the Hundred Schools of Thought. It is also known as the Golden Age of Chinese philosophy because a broad range of thoughts and ideas were developed and discussed freely. Living in the most developed period of the Chinese philosophy, Chuang Tzu can know all the philosophies in The Warring States, except Han Fei’s theory. Living during the chaos, the philosophical thoughts of Chuang Tzu inevitably influenced by the History of Chinese’s thoughts at this time.

Short introduction about Chuang Tzu and Nan Hua Zhen Jing
Chuang Tzu came from the Town of Meng (in modern Anhui) in Song Dynasty, living in the time of King Hui of Liang and Kinh Xuan of Qi (late 4th century BCE). He is the typical philosopher for Daojia, one of the greatest philosophers in History of Ancient – Middle Age Chinese Philosophy. Chuang Tzu is considered to follow Lao Tzu’s doctrine of Dao, making it develop more bright and popular. He is a minor official in the town. However, he gave up his appointment and lived recluse for the rest of his life at Nan Hua Mountain in the state of Song. In this place, he wrote Nan Hua Zhen Jing.

Nan Hua Zhen Jing (also known as The book of Chuang Tzu) is only work of Chuang Tzu that today we still know. This work was lost several time, recovered and then lost again. So it has some inevitable errors. This work, in its current shape consisting of 33 chapters, is traditionally divided into three parts: the first, known as the "Inner Chapters", consists of the first seven chapters; the second, known as the "Outer Chapters", consist of the next 15 chapters; the last, known as the "Mixed Chapters", consist of the remaining 11 chapters. Chuang Tzu was renowned for his brilliant wordplay and use of parables to put forward his philosophical thoughts.

Nan Hua Zhen Jing was translated into Vietnamese. The popular translators of Nan Hua Zhen Jing in Vietnam are Thu Giang – Duy Can Nguyen, Hien Le Nguyen, Tong Nhuong, Ton Nhan Nguyen. In my report, I read and quoted the translation of Hien Le Nguyen.

2. Some philosophical thoughts of Chuang Tzu in Nan Hua Zhen Jing
World outlook of Chuang Tzu: The inheritance and development of Lao Tzu’s doctrine in the concept Dao.
Chuang Tzu advocated that the primary sources of whole world is nothing. He found that everything in this world has the common origin which is called Dao, even though they have many differences. In Chuang Tzu’s conceptions, Dao is formless, unknown, empty, and it is beyond space, time, life and death. Dao is “non-material” so that no one gave it birth and it derived from itself. That means Dao had before heaven and earth. So Dao is the origin of universe.

Chuang Tzu said that Dao constantly changes. Everything in this world always moves and transforms, and we don’t know where they start, how they end. However, they change follow the set of strict rules and have the natural power. Everything contains Dao as their nature. All are...
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