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Zhuangzi’s Idea of Wei-yi為一 (Being One) with Focus on the Debate on the Happiness of a Fish

Delivered in English

Some interpreters think that Zhuangzi’s argument in his debate with Hui Shi on the happiness of a fish is slippery; some other think that Zhuangzi provides a convincing argument of self-refuting to reject Hui Shi’s view and thus to prove that he does know the happiness of a fish. In contrast, in this article, I want to demonstrate that Zhuangzi’s argument is aiming at the deconstruction of the thesis of the inaccessibility of other minds which is presupposed in Hui Shi’s view.

In addition, I think, through the debate, Zhuangzi is trying to go beyond the epistemic approach in the sense that his idea of “knowing” as a special kind of mental state is essentially different from that of “knowing” in terms of cognition. This idea is closely related to his ideas of “wei-yi,” “hun-dun,” “nothing,” and “dao.” Moreover, in this article, I want to criticize Graham’s view about his assimilation of Zhuangzi’s “wei-yi” to Hui Shi’s “yi-ti” and to demonstrate that Zhuangzi’s vision of wei-yi is entertained by one who has zhen-zhi which cannot be appreciated by Hui Shi’s epistemic approach.