The central feature is the parable, typified as a discussion between imaginary or real interlocutors.
Typically short, pithy, and amusing, his tales are both accessible and philosophically seductive—they both entertain and make you think.
The four schools contributing to the extant text shared an emphasis on natural –usually as opposed to social-cultural, .
They preserved their natural purity from social corruption by rejecting society’s mores.
This wide range of views of Zhuangzi stem from the style of the text.
Zhuangzi’s prose style is its own distinctive literary treasure.
The second grouping may have included writings of a “School of Zhuangzi.” Modern scholarship assigns various sources of other influences found in both the second “outer” and final “miscellaneous” chapters.
Graham drawing on work of the Chinese theorist, Kuan Feng and followed with some variation by Liu Xiaogan and Harold Roth, divides these influences into roughly four variously named groups: However widely assumed, Zhuangzi’s authorship of any of the “inner” chapters remains a speculative hypothesis.
His most frequent co-discussant in the text was Hui Shi, a rival linguistic relativist.
We attribute a large chunk of the extant text of the to “students of Zhuangzi” but we have little hint of who his students were or if he even had students in any formal sense.
A scholar working around 600 years later after the fall of the Han, Guo Xiang (d.
A respite from the dry moralizing of Confucians, the text was always a favorite of the Chinese intellectual, literati class.
The also attracts modern Western readers with its thoroughgoing naturalism, philosophical subtlety, and sophisticated humor, all set in a strikingly different conceptual scheme and its distant, exotic context.
This linguistic analysis emphasized indexical contexts especially for the evaluative terms of choices of natural paths of behavior (.