Dissertation > Philosophy, religion > Chinese Philosophy > Qin Dynasty ( 220) > Taoism > Chuang Tzu ( Zhuang,BC 369 ~ 286 years )

"I Think Therefore I Am" and "I Lost Myself": A Comparison between Descartes and Chuang-Tzu’s Self-concept

Author FuTingTing
Tutor LiXiaoChun
School Lanzhou University
Course Chinese Philosophy
Keywords Descartes Chuang-Tzu self-concept I think therefore I am I lost myself
CLC B223.5
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
Downloads 313
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This article aims to compare the self-concept of Descartes and Chuang-Tzu.The basic idea is to unscramble the meaning of "I think therefore I am" and "I lost myself" respectively in the first place. Then analyze the meaning of the propositions to summarize the view about self of Descartes and Chuang-Tzu. Finally makes a conclusion by Comparison.ChapterⅠanalyzes Descartes’"I think therefore I am". Descartes pointed that everything in thinking all can be doubted, only the form of thinking that the existence of thought itself is beyond doubt, so "I think therefore I am" can be the "first principles" to establish sure knowledge system..ChapterⅡsummed up the three main characteristics of Descartes’self-concept:As the essential attribute of Descartes’self is just thought, so Descartes’self is pure thought above all; Descartes took the existence of self as the "first principle" that means the existence of self does not dependent on any external objects including God, therefore Descartes’self is independent; Descartes took human’s Spirit as a sort of entity that forms opposition with material, which also means Subject and Object formed Completely Opposition, so Descartes’self is a kind of subject-object dichotomy.ChapterⅢhackles, analyzes notes of Chuang-Tzu’s "I lost myself" recorded by ancient masters, and from this put the view of this article forward:"I lost myself" that means get rid of the difference between things and I, eliminate the concept of self in order to achieve the state of "All Things One Form.’ChapterⅣsummed up the three main characteristics of Chuang-Tzu’s self-concept: Chuang-Tzu’s "I lost myself" intends to get rid of the difference between things and I, eliminate the concept of self, so Chuang-Tzu’s self represents as "All Things One Form"; the state of Chuang-Tzu’s "I lost myself" is also a free state in spirit with no fetter which "WuDai","WuJi "."ZuoWang " describes, so Chuang-Tzu’s self is free and unrestrained; finally, Chuang-Tzu advocated abandon and transcend the concept of self in order to achieve freedom in spirit, so Chuang-Tzu’s self can not be expressed.Chapter V launched a comparison on self-concept of Descartes and Chuang-Tzu, obtained three main points in common and three major differences of Descartes and Chuang-Tzu’s self-concept.The common points are the same background of skepticism, the same spiritual existence, the same spirit of freedom; differences are two different kinds of living structures, two opposite direction of thinking, two opposite ways of description.Finally, induction and summarized.

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