An Interpretation of Guo Xiang’s Commentary on Zhuangzi: the Case of “Xiaoyao”

Author:Jui-Chuan Hsu

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The article rethinks the meaning of “Xiaoyao” in Guo Xiang’s philosophy. First, I provide a novel interpretation of Guo Xiang’s Commentary on Zhuangzi. Then, I analyze his  Commentary by  applying  key concepts  in  Hans-Georg Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics. Guo Xiang incorporated Zhuangzi’s philosophy  into  his  own.  He  believes  that  every  individual  can  achieve“Xiaoyao,” but only if each person forgets both what is beyond the reach of one’s nature and desires not belonging to oneself. The Sage King does not impose his own ideas on the people, and thus he guides the people to achieve the  state  of  “Xiaoyao.”  Guo  Xiang’s  philosophy,  by  demonstrating  that everyone can achieve “Xiaoyao” in articulating how the abstract reasoning in Zhuangzi  has  practical  application,  greatly  contributed  to  the  popularity of Taoist Philosophy.

Keywords: fusion of horizons、Guo Xiang、philosophical hermeneutics、Xiaoyao、Zhuangzi