Therapeutic forgetting and its ethical dimension in the Daoist Zhuangzi

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This article utilizes recent Western approaches to the ethical inquiry into human activities of forgetting, especially the approach represented by Ricoeur’s work on memory and forgetting and their ethical functioning. The three areas of Ricoeur’s investigation includes the therapeutic/pathological area; pragmatic area, which deals with the issue of individual and group’s self-identity in relation to time and otherness; and the more explicitly ethical (social and institutional) area. These three divisions are useful to start with, but Ricoeur’s work shows some narrowness in neglect of positive, productive and healthy forgetting, which has been deemed significant by the Zhuangzi. This paper is the first of the author’s serial writings to apply Ricoeur’s three areas of forgetting to investigate the forgetfulness of the Zhuangzi, and examines therapeutic forgetting and its ethical dimension only.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-426
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Chinese Philosophy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy


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