Front. Philos. China 2017, 12(1): 188–190 DOI 10.3868/s030-006-017-0012-2 BOOK REVIEW Steve Coutinho, An Introduction to Daoist Philosophies. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2013, 248pp., ISBN: 9780231143394. Steve Coutinho has provided us with a new introduction to Daoism. The scope of “Daoist Philosophies” covered by this introduction is the Laozi, the Zhuangzi, and the Liezi. The author makes no use of the materials of the Daoist canon, considering them to be “folk beliefs, rituals, spiritual practices, and sacred texts…a pluralistic amalgamation of rival sects and teachings that have developed in lineages over the centuries…” (7). The overriding approach taken in this work is to relate Daoist thought to contemporary philosophical issues, and the author does not hesitate to make use of Western ideas and categories to structure his interpretations. The goal of this introduction is to show how Daoism can be embraced as a living philosophy, rather than to offer the history of the tradition. In his chapter “Daoist Philosophies,” the author notes the difficulties in identifying what should be treated as “Daoism.” In response to the recent work done in Daoist scholarship on the porous membrane between daojia and daojiao, the author insists that “it does not follow
Frontiers of Philosophy in China – Brill
Published: May 3, 2017
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