The Humanist Spirit of Daoism


Editors: David Jones and Sarah Flavel
In The Humanist Spirit of Daoism, Chen Guying presents a concise overview of his understanding of the meaning and significance of Daoist philosophy. Chen is a leading contemporary Chinese thinker and spokesperson for a new Daoist approach to existential and socio-political issues. He was born in mainland China in 1935, but after having resettled to Taiwan, he received his education there and was a student activist in the 1960s. He became famous in the Chinese-speaking world with his writings on Nietzsche, Laozi and Zhuangzi. At present he is a Professor at Peking University. This volume collects representative essays from the past 25 years which not only outline Chen’s interpretation of Daoism as a deeply humanist way of thinking and living, but also show how he employs this philosophy in a critique of totalitarianism and neo-imperialism.
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Biographical Note

Chen Guying received his Master of Arts in 1963 at National Taiwan University. Chen is Professor of Chinese Philosophy at Peking University. He has published numerous books on Daoist Philosophy. He is regarded as one of the most eminent living Daoist philosophers.

Hans-Georg Moeller is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Macau. He received his Ph.D. at Bonn University, Germany. He has published several books on Daoist Philosophy and on the social theorist Niklas Luhmann.

David Jones is University Distinguished Professor and Professor of Philosophy at Kennesaw State University. He has published books in Comparative Philosophy and is editor of Comparative and Continental Philosophy. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Hawai`i.

Sarah Flavel is Senior Lecturer in Religions, Philosophies and Ethics at Bath Spa University, UK. Her research focuses on Asian and Continental philosophy and she is assistant editor of Comparative and Continental Philosophy. She received her Ph.D. from The National University of Ireland (University College Cork).

Table of contents

Editors’ Introduction

Part 1: On the Social Concern of Daoism

1 The Social Concern of Daoism

2 The Daoist Notion of Harmony

3 The Notion of “Ritual Propriety” in Early Daoism

4 Harmony in a World of Conflict and Crises: What We Can Take from Laozi’s Notion of Harmony

Part 2: The Humanist Thought of Laozi and Zhuangzi

5 Dao: A Spiritual Home

6 Tracing the Origins of Humanist Philosophy in Early China

7 Laozi and Zhuang’s Humanist World: The Humanist Perspective of the Dao

8 A Daoist Perspective on the Humanist Spirit of Religion

9 On Intercultural Dialogue



All interested in Daoism, Chinese and comparative philosophy, Chinese politics, and contemporary Chinese society.

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