This project endeavors to assert the possibility of “freedom of the non-subject” through a synthesis of reflections on freedom as put forth by Zhuangzi, Nietzsche, and Adorno. Until now, research on Zhuangzi has implicitly borrowed from the interpretive framework of the philosophy of subject, often characterizing Zhuangzi’s distinction between “heart” and “thing” as a dichotomy between subject and object. For instance, the contemporary neo-Confucianist interpretation exemplifies this common tendency of scholars to analyze Zhuangzi’s notion of “heart” from the perspective of the rational subject's spiritual freedom. Unfortunately, this approach may conceal the conceptual significance of both “heart” and “thing.” To address this misinterpretation, this paper posits that Zhuangzi’s notion of freedom stresses that of the individual and is therefore not necessarily incompatible with the philosophy of subject. However, if we focus in particular on the potential for “freedom of the non-subject,” we will find that Zhuangzi's thoughts on the “heart-thing" relationship cannot be solely understood as a subordinate relationship between subject and object. More importantly, the dialectical relationship between “heart” and “thing” as well as the greater implications of philosophy of the non-subject must not be overlooked. To clarify these ideas, we will draw on the critiques of freedom and the rational subject as introduced by Nietzsche and Adorno.
|Effective start/end date
|2019/08/01 → 2021/07/31
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