A Selection From Chapter 17 Of The Zhuangzi


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Mr. Zhuang and Mr. Hui were walking upon a bridge above a river, when Mr. Zhuang said, "The fish come up and swim calmly. This is what makes fish happy."

Mr. Hui said, "You're not a fish. How do you know what makes fish happy?"

Mr. Zhuang said, "You're not I. How do you know that I don't know what makes fish happy?"

Mr. Hui said, "Since I'm not you, I don't know you for certain! Since you are certainly not a fish, the argument for your ignorance of what makes fish happy is intact!"

Mr. Zhuang said, "Please abide by the original question. `How do you know what makes fish happy?ยด is what you asked. You already knew that I know what makes fish happy, because you asked me how I know what makes fish happy. I know it being above this river."

This is related to why I don't often get involved with discussions, debates, arguments, etc. anymore. If I ask you how you know something, I have to acknowledge on some level that you do know it before I can ask how you know it. How you know something is (at least) based upon your observations and perceptions of the universe around you, and that's the same universe around me. What is, is, and our interpretations of what is may differ.

PS: The quoted text is my non-verbatim translation of the text on this web page.

And why do I use pinyin? I guess it's because I'm o-pinyin-ated! :P (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

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