the butterfly

Topics: Zhuangzi, Dream, Chinese philosophy Pages: 4 (1266 words) Published: February 15, 2014
the butterfly summary by chuang tzu:-
The butterfly:-

Chuang Tzu, a contemporary of Mencius, is universally regarded as the greatest Taoist after Lao Tzu. His butterfly dream is probably the most celebrated dream ever to be recorded in the history of Chinese Philosophy, which makes it almost impossible to omit in any serious expositions of Chuang Tzu's works. Whether or not the dream actually occurred is not a matter of great importance. What is important is that it has captured the minds of generations of Philosophers. My aim in this essay is to discuss a number of views that I find interesting.

Once upon a time, Chuang Tzu dreamed that he was a butterfly, flying about enjoying itself. It did not know that it was Chuang Chou. Suddenly he awoke, and veritably was Chuang Chou again. He did not know whether it was Chuang Chou dreaming that he was a butterfly, or whether it was the butterfly dreaming that it was Chuang Chou. Between Chuang Chou and the butterfly there must be some distinction. This is a case of what is called the transformation of things. Discussion: "This shows that, although in ordinary appearance there are differences between things, in delusions or in dreams one thing can also be another. The transformation of things proves that the differences among things are not absolute "

The first piece of work that we are going to look at is the paper by Kuang-Ming Wu: Dream in Nietzsche and Chuang Tzu . Even though Chuang Tzu and Nietzsche lived centuries apart, they, nevertheless, have much in common when it comes to dreams. For Nietzsche, reality is subjective and dream is objective. That is, what we see around us and do everyday are all products of our dreams. They are not correct descriptions of reality, but something subjective and illusory. It would be a mistake to take dreams as not dreams but something real.

Chuang Tzu, however, preferred something more compromising: "When I say you are dreaming, so am I." In other words, we are all...
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