Zhuangzi's word, Heidegger's word, and the Confucian word

Eske J. Møllgaard, University of Rhode Island


Traditional Chinese commentators rightly see that understanding Zhuangzi's way with words is the presupposition for understanding Zhuangzi at all. They are not sure, however, if Zhuangzi's words are super-effective or pure nonsense. I consider Zhuangzi's experience with language, and then turn to Heidegger's word of being to see if it may throw light on Zhuangzi's way of saying. I argue that a conversation between Heidegger and Zhuangzi on language is possible, but only by expanding Heidegger's notion of Gestell (enframing) and through a destruction of the dominant Confucian discourse that obscures Zhuangzi's way of saying.