“Rationalism” and “Anti-Rationalism” in Mohism and Zhuangzi

Professor A. C. Graham was among the most influential international scholars of early Chinese thought working in the second half of the twentieth century. In honor of his career, Professors Carine Defoort and Roger Ames are planning an anthology of essays to be published on the twentieth anniversary of his death. The working title is Having a Word with Angus Graham: On the First Quarter Century of his Immortality. The theme of the volume is dialogues with A. C. Graham, so I thought an appropriate contribution would be an actual dialogue about Professor Graham's interpretations of the Mohist Dialectics, Zhuangzi, and the relation between these texts.

The dialogue attempts to do justice to Graham's reading of the texts while also questioning many aspects of his interpretation. It culminates with a conclusion concerning Zhuangzi about which I hope we can agree with Graham.

This paper appears as "Rationalism and Anti-Rationalism in Later Mohism and the Zhuangzi," in Carine Defoort and Roger T. Ames, eds., Having a Word with Angus Graham (Albany: SUNY Press, 2018), 251–274.

A revised author's draft of the paper can be downloaded here.