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[Vol.24 (2015)] Zhuangzi 莊子 on Qi 氣
Author : KIM Doil
Date : 19.03.28
Page : 53-70
Keyword : Zhuangzi, qi, dao
Abstract :

The ultimate aim of this paper is to show that qi 氣 (vital energy) is crucial in Zhuangzi’s 莊子 understanding of the dao 道 (Way) because it is one of the central concepts that explain the highest epistemic stage of a perfect person (zhiren至人) who successfully embodies the dao. In addition, this paper aims to show that qi is also central to Zhuangzi’s ethical thought, since it is the term that explains how one is capable of acting in accordance with the dao. To do this in an interesting way, this paper casts serious doubt on the validity of some recent interpretations of Zhuangzi. Special skepticism is directed towards work produced by certain scholars in the English-speaking world, such as Chad Hansen, P. J. Ivanhoe, and David B. Wong. This paper argues that these interpretations fail to get the gist of Zhuangzi’s thought, and that a major reason for the failure is that they do not give enough attention to the fact that qi, the concept that Zhuangzi then employed in understanding the deepest layer of human-constitution is a concept that we now have difficulty in grasping. This paper argues that this concept is located at the core of Zhuangzi’s understanding of the motivational force of a perfect person as well as the unity of Heaven and humans.

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