The Daoist-Buddhist Discourse(s) on Things, Names, and Knowing in China’s Wei Jin Period

  • Hans-Rudolf KantorEmail author
Part of the Dao Companions to Chinese Philosophy book series (DCCP, volume 9)


The discourse on epistemological, ontological, and linguistic issues in the Zhuangzi and in Guo Xiang’s (252–312) commentary influenced Sengzhao’s (374–414) reception and interpretation of Indian Madhyamaka thought introduced to the Chinese literati by Kumārajīva (343–413), the famous translator from the Wei Jin period and Sengzhao’s Buddhist master.

This article explores the philosophical conditions and conceptual affinities based on which early Madhyamaka thought in China integrates Daoist and Xuanxue terms into its own conceptual framework and further develops into the indigenous Buddhist schools of the Tiantai and Sanlun traditions. After examining some key terms, such as nature, thing, name, knowing, from the Zhuangzi and Guo Xiang’s commentary, this article further analyzes Sengzhao’s reinterpretation referencing the soteriological context of Buddhist “liberation.”


Zhuangzi Xuanxue Guo Xiang Sengzhao Madhyamaka Nature Thing Knowing Name Spontaneity 


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Huafan UniversityNew Taipei CityTaiwan

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