The Study of "Liu-zi"

Submitted by James Miller on Tue, 02/14/2012 - 15:23
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TitleThe Study of "Liu-zi"
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsLeung, T. W.
Corporate AuthorsHo, Che Wah
Academic DepartmentProQuest Dissertations and Theses
Date Published2010
PublisherThe Chinese University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
Place PublishedHong Kong
ISBN Number9781267063694
KeywordsAncient languages, Asian literature, Classical studies

The Liu-zi was traditionally regarded as a work of the Eclectics during the Wei-Jin and the Six Dynasties. Previous discussions of the Liu-zi focus merely on its authorship, but as the issue is intricate, this problem is unresolved even in current researches. Other than the authorship, the general picture, especially the Philological aspect of the book is only rarely explored. This thesis aims to carry out an in-depth investigation of the Liu-zi, including its authorship and a comparison with other related texts, such as the Lushi Chunqiu and the Huainanzi . By doing so, I want to highlight the features and value of the Liu-zi, and demonstrate how the Liu-zi is influenced and adapted from the above two books. Apart from the introductory chapter, this thesis is divided into six parts. Chapter two provides a basic discussion of the authorship of the Liu-zi. This part will incorporate and comment previous opinions, and then compare and contrast the Liu-zi and the Wenxin Diaolong. It begins by exploring the opinion that the Liu-zi was written by an Easten Jin scholar. However, this paper will show that the text was written by Liu Zhou of the Beiqi Period(550-577) during the Southern and the Northern Dynasty. Chapter three analyzes the reference sources of the Liu-zi through parallel readings of the Liu-zi the Huainanzi and the Extant Version of the Wenzi. In addition to study parallel passages found in these titles and to show this extensive reworking, this part expounds on typical examples of the different modifications on the Liu-zi by comparing with the Huainanzi and the Extant version of the Wenzi. The Liu-zi tends to use materials from these two earlier texts to present new interpretation of the books. Furthermore, there will be a discussion of a scholastic idea on the timing of the authorship as well as the textual history of the Huainazi and the Extant version of the Wenzi. Chapter four investigates the absorption and abandonment of the theories of Other Scholars in the Liu-zi. By using such connection, this part aims at examining the relationships between the Liu-zi and the other texts to show the differences and inheritance of the Liu-zi among and from those previous texts of Other Scholars. Chapter five inspects opinions of previous scholars on the development of the Eclectics. The chapter further argues with the general misread that the Eclectics is merely Wang-lao Taoism. Then it shows the importance of the Eclectics in the Hanji and determines the academic status of the Liu-zi in the Eclectics, that is, in the history of Chinese Textual Bibliography. Chapter six provides a basic discussion between the Liu-zi and major extant writings of Metaphysics in Wei-Jin Dynasties. This is to look into a special feature, the mutual dependence of Confucianism and Daoism, of the Liu-zi, thus confirming the academic status of the book in Chinese tradition. By providing textual comparison, this aims to provide the relationship and inheritance between the Liu-zi and other major extant writings of Metaphysics in Wei-Jin Dynasties for further research. Chapter seven is a recapitulation of the main points in this thesis. For other works compiled in the Pre-Han and Han Dynasties which are also parallel to the Liu-zi, please refer to appendix1.