Volume 10, Issue 1, Spring 2013
East Asian and Comparative Approaches to the Environment
Zhuangzi and Nietzsche on the Human and Nature
In the context of an unprecedented level of human harm to the natural world on a global scale, this essay aims to rehabilitate the category of the natural by drawing on the philosophies of the classical Daoist Zhuangzi and Friedrich Nietzsche. It considers the benefits of their undermining of anthropocentrism, their appreciation of natural limitations, their checking of human projections onto nature, and their recommendations concerning following the ways of nature while at the same time promoting human culture. The essay concludes with a few examples of how these ideas apply to some current environmental issues.