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7 A Note on Logical Connectives in the Huainanzi

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the issue of textual composition in the "Jing shen" at the microlevel to open a discussion about larger questions: How did the Western Han compilers of the Huainanzi chapters construct compelling arguments on the basis of earlier traditions, including the Wenzi and parts of the Zhuangzi, apparently. As with certain passages in the Zhuangzi devoted to death, the argument seems tactical, the goal being to urge an idea usefully entertained by the listener/ reader too inclined to nerves. However, an examination of particles, shigu 是故 and gu 故, that appear in every section may serve to push these insights a bit further. Gu appears in the chapter in three ways: in the phrase shigu, in the phrase guyue ('so they say'), and by itself alone. When gu appears alone, it often indicates what motivates a legendary figure.

Keywords: guyue; Huainanzi; Jing shen; logical connectives; shigu; Wenzi; Western Han; Zhuangzi



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