Positive alienation and its reflection in taoist thought

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Abstract

Positive alienation is a forgotten category, though it was never ‘alien’ to early philosophers. This paper examines the dimensions of alienation in its usual negative disguise in two ways - a sense of meaninglessness and Peter Berger's conceptualisation. It identifies positive alienation in Taoism by examining Taoist classics by Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu with the help of these two theoretical schemes, and explores the favourable ramifications of the Taoist positive alienation. Positive alienation, as the Taoist interprets and practises it: (1) provides a way of accomplishing everything; (2) brings individual happiness; (3) makes it possible for a person to have a longer life; and (4) gives rise to an ideal policy for a government.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-17
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Sociology
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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