TOWARD A NEW PHILOSOPHICAL DAOISM XI

We maintain, therefore, that for philosophical Daoism ideas can indeed be a useful tool for the realization of what must go well beyond ideas. We are where we are today largely because of the power of ideas. Rationalism and speciesism are ideas deeply embedded in our collective consciousness, and they have contributed significantly to the behaviors that have brought us to the brink of ecological catastrophe. Only a philosophy that fails to understand the prevailing cultural world-views as philosophy would suggest that philosophy does not practically impact our being in the world. True, there are other still more powerful forces at work, but to dismiss philosophy—ideas—as an important means of gaining transformative egress into what motivates our behaviors is to miss the point of doing philosophy altogether.
Finally, we must take still other liberties if we are to proceed without endless qualifications. Because we do not represent our take on philosophical Daoism as a correct understanding of the texts, we can also make convenient assumptions about their authorship and dates without undermining our takeaway. We will thus refer to Zhuangzi as the single author of the Inner Chapters of the Zhuangzi, assume that they present a single vision, and that they are in many ways distinct from the other portions of the anthology. All these assumptions are widely disputed by scholars and often dismissed by many. This need not concern us. This is our philosophy and we will profitable mine these resources without concern for their geological genesis.

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