As the first systematic attempt to probe the linguistic strategies of Daoist Zhuangzi and Chan Buddhism, this book investigates three areas: deconstructive strategy, liminology of language, and indirect communication. It bases these investigations on the critical examination of original texts, placing them strictly within soteriological contexts. Whilst focusing on language use, the study also reveals some important truths about these two traditions and challenges many conventional understandings of them. Responding to recent critiques of Daoist and Chan Buddhist thought, it brings these two traditions into a constructive dialogue with contemporary philosophical reflection. It discovers Zhuangzian and Chan perspectives and sheds light on issues such as the relationship between philosophy and non-philosophy, de-reification of words, relativising the limit of language, structure of indirect communication, and use of paradox, tautology and poetic language.
'Youru Wang carefully examines in this provocative and systematic work the variety of linguistic tactics involved in two ways of speaking that challenge coventional speech and understanding.' - Journal of Chinese Philosophy,Volume 32, Issue 4 (December 2005)
'…this is a very rich book, articulate, nuanced, and thoughtful, rewarding its readers with a systematic appreciation of why the Zhuangzi and some Chan Buddhist texts are so effective in promoting their respective soteriological vision through a dazzlingly creative use of language.' - TAO JIANG, Rutgers University, Journal of Chinese Religions, 2008