There seems to be an assumption in, let’s say, metaphysics, that everything must have came from something, which makes sense for apparent reasons. A concept of nothing seems to be just a concept, since nobody has dealt with absolute Nothing. Infinitely regressing to the first “something,” or infinitely progressing to the last something, depending on how you look at it shows the uncertainty in if there is a first (or last), if it is indeed finite, infinite, or circular, according to conventional possibilities.
Surprisingly, the Zhuangzi has its own article on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, but after reading it, Hui and I thought it to be contrived or misinterpreted.
To many people, Philosophical Taoism and Buddhism are full of strange and fanciful ideas; it may seem absurd that a bird or a mouse could be the reincarnation of a relative or that people can achieve immorality by living stress-free, but these ideas and many others are taken out of context, only allowing potential seekers of “spirituality” and onlookers to engage with the concepts in a straightforward manner. This leads people to think that these philosophies have some sort of “magic” in them.
I was trying to pick arguments to analyze for an assignment in my philosophy class. I came up with four or five candidates, three of which were from Zhuangzi and one of which was from the Spring and Autumn Annals. In picking the arguments, I noticed that most of the eastern ones were arguments by analogy and that they employed figurative language. So, when I’m trying to analyze eastern philosophy, those traits often present some problems.
To describe a man who’s the epitome of men, some people use the phrase: a man’s man. This is a compliment just like the phrase: a man of the world.