Bce ce dating system
The philosopher and statesman Hui Shi, or Huizi (“Master Hui,” 380-305 BCE), is represented as a close friend of Zhuangzi, though decidedly unconvinced by his philosophical musings.
According to early evidence compiled by Sima Qian, Zhuangzi was born in a village called Meng, in the state of Song; according to Lu Deming, the Sui-Tang dynasty scholar, the Pu River in which Zhuangzi was said to have fished was in the state of Chen which, as Wang Guowei points out, had become a territory of the southern state of Chu.
It is critical of our ordinary categorizations and evaluations, noting the multiplicity of different modes of understanding between different creatures, cultures, and philosophical schools, and the lack of an independent means of making a comparative evaluation.
It advocates a mode of understanding that is not committed to a fixed system, but is fluid and flexible, and that maintains a provisional, pragmatic attitude towards the applicability of these categories and evaluations.
According to traditional dating, Master Zhuang, to whom the first seven chapters of the text have traditionally been attributed, was an almost exact contemporary of the Confucian thinker Mencius, but we have no record of direct philosophical dialogue between them.
The text is ranked among the greatest of literary and philosophical masterpieces that China has produced.
The text is an anthology, in which several distinctive strands of Daoist thought can be recognized.