Zhuangzi and Agricultural Ethics

Kai Yuan Cheng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Paul Thompson (The agrarian vision. University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, 2010) has developed a virtue-based view of agriculture, and claims that it is the key to environmental sustainability. This chapter aims to improve upon this agrarian view by exposing some of the theoretical defects inherent in it, and by showing how those defects may be overcome by incorporating some alternative ways of thinking about the man-nature relationship from the perspective of Zhuangzi’s philosophy. This agrarian, Dao-constrained, position is developed on the basis of a no-self thesis proposed in Cheng’s (Philosophy East and West 64:563–597, 2014) reading of the dream of the butterfly.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Library of Environmental, Agricultural and Food Ethics
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameInternational Library of Environmental, Agricultural and Food Ethics
ISSN (Print)1570-3010
ISSN (Electronic)2215-1737


  • Agrarianism
  • Agricultural ethics
  • Paul B. Thompson
  • Zhuangzi


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