Zhuangzi: Basic Writings

By Zhuang Zi, trans. Burton Watson

This is an excerpt of the complete Zhuangzi, and I'm normally a rabid completionist, but there are three facts that lead me to recommend this edition: 1) This is the version I had in my physical library and therefore read, 2) The translator makes a pretty good case that what is excluded is mostly later (less awesome) additions to the work of the original author, and 3) you can get this excerpt for about one third of the price of the complete works. So, with that in mind, let me tell you what's great about this book. It's a lot more lively than most philosophy, featuring poetry, metaphor, and humor. I found it almost as valuable as a demonstration of an alternative way to convey deep, important ideas as I did for the actual ideas it was discussing. It's also interestingly different from the Daoism you may know from the Daodejing. I'm not going to get a Yin-Yang symbol tattooed on me anytime soon, but I have found this a worthwhile addition to my mental tool kit.

For lots more on this book, check out the full post I wrote about here.

Buy it here.

Jeff RussellPhilosophy