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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

ISSN 1673-3436

ISSN 1673-355X(Online)

CN 11-5743/B

Postal Subscription Code 80-983

Front Phil Chin    2010, Vol. 5 Issue (3) : 313-325     DOI: 10.1007/s11466-010-0101-7
research-article |
“A Happy Excursion” and Freedom
DENG Lianhe()
School of Philosophy and Social Development, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, China
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In modern times, academics have used the perspective of political liberty and spiritual freedom to interpret and explain Zhuang Zi’s “happy excursion” as well as the substance of all his other thoughts. The starting point of the former is the political idea of laissez-faire; the latter involves the unique character of Zhuang Zi’s philosophy on life. But it misses the spiritual deficiency contained in Zhuang Zi, and so it is difficult to respond to criticism from modern liberals. This article argues that it is not quite accurate to use “happy excursion” to express modern freedom, but the spiritual tradition of “happy excursion” as a kind of native resource could still serve as a way to introduce the idea of liberalism at the level of a life philosophy based on independence, individual consciousness and the personal conscience and virtues embraced by the “happy excursion” thought of Zhuang Zi.

Keywords Zhuang Zi      happy excursion      freedom     
Corresponding Authors: DENG Lianhe,   
Issue Date: 05 September 2010
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