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A Critical Response to Zhang Longxi

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Abstract:

This is essay is a critical response to Zhang Longxi's argument that Taoist philosophy is susceptible to Derrida's arguments against logocentrism. I present two main arguments. First, I argue that Zhang fails to provide sufficient evidence that would show Taoism is logocentric. Moreover, even if Zhang could provide support for such a claim there cannot be a general deconstructive argument against logocentrism. Derrida's arguments against logocentrism work from within a specific text. The second argument offers reasons for believing Taoism is decidedly not logocentric because it lacks, among other things, the phonocentrism Derrida was intent on criticising. The 'presence' mentioned in Taoist literature is antithetical to the Platonic notion of Forms; it is not the presence of unchanging ideas in a rational mind. Zhuangzi and Plato do not share the similarities attributed to them by Zhang.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0955236022000043874

Publication date: 2002-07-01

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