1st Edition

Reading Ji Kang's Essays Xuanxue in Early Medieval China

By David Chai Copyright 2022
    250 Pages
    by Routledge

    250 Pages
    by Routledge

    This is the first English-language book on the philosophy of Ji Kang. Moreover, it offers the first systematic treatment of his philosophy, thus filling a significant gap in English-language scholarship on early medieval Chinese literature and philosophy.

    David Chai brings to light Ji Kang’s Neo-Daoist heritage and explores the themes in his writings that were derived from classical Daoism, most notably the need for humanity to return to a more harmonious co-existence with Nature to further our own self-understanding. His analysis is unique in that it balances translation and annotation with expositing the creative philosophizing of Neo-Daoism. Chai analyzes the entirety of Ji Kang’s essays, exploring his philosophical reflections on music, aesthetics, ethics, self-cultivation, and fate.

    Reading Ji Kang/s Essays will be of interest to scholars and students of Chinese philosophy and literature. It offers the first comprehensive philosophical examination of a heretofore neglected figure in Neo-Daoism.


    Introduction. Ji Kang’s Life and Works

    Chapter 1. Music and Emotion

    Chapter 2. Ethics

    Chapter 3. Learning

    Chapter 4. Health and Self-Cultivation

    Chapter 5. Fortunes of Life


    David Chai is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is the author of Zhuangzi and the Becoming of Nothingness (2019) and editor of Daoist Encounters with Phenomenology: Thinking Interculturally about Human Existence (2020) and Dao Companion to Xuanxue [Neo-Daoism] (2020). Professor Chai is also the author of numerous papers on Chinese and comparative philosophy.