In this article we focus on the famous dialogue between Zhuangzi 莊子 and Huizi 惠子 concerning the question whether or not ren 人 (in particular the shengren 聖人) have qing 情. Most scholars have understood qing in this exchange as referring to “feelings” or “emotions.” We take issue with such readings. First, we demonstrate that, while Huizi probably understands qing as something like feelings or emotions, Zhuangzi’s view is that having qing is connected with making shifei 是非 judgments whereas having no qing means that shifei has no grip on those ren, especially the shengren. What follows is that the expression wuqing 無情 should not be identified as a “doctrine of nonemotion.” Instead, wuqing implies that Zhuangzi advises us to lead a life of tranquility, calmness, and stillness. We show that these peaceful attitudes are associated with the idea of wuwei 無為 in the Zhuangzi.
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Ma, L., van Brakel, J. Revisiting the Exchange between Zhuangzi and Huizi on Qing. Dao 20, 133–148 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11712-020-09765-6
- the Zhuangzi 莊子
- Qing 情
- Shifei 是非
- Wuwei 無為
- Wuqing 無情