Dao
, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 427-443

Zhuangzi’s Cheng Xin and its Implications for Virtue and Perspectives

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Abstract

The concept of the cheng xin in the Zhuangzi claims that the cognitive function of the heart-mind is not over and above its affective states and in charge of them in developing and controlling virtue, as assumed by the Confucians and others. This joint cognitive and affective nature of the heart-mind denies ethical and epistemic certainty. Individual perspectives are limited given habits of thought, attitudes, personal orientations and particular cognitive/affective experiences. Nevertheless, the heart-mind has a vast imaginative capacity that allows the open-endedness and broadening of perspectives.