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Mysticism and Peace of Mind: Reflections on Tugendhat and Daoism

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image of Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Philosophical mysticism is often understood as involving an irrational union with a transcendent reality. This paper challenges this assumption by examining the universal and rational potentials of mysticism. Drawing on Ernst Tugendhat’s interpretation of mysticism as an overcoming of egocentricity and a pursuit of peace of mind, it focuses on philosophical Daoism as a distinctive form of mysticism that emphasizes the rationality of stepping back from one’s excessive volitional attachments in light of the validity of other perspectives. Mysticism, thus conceived, has a distinctive potential that does not depend on religious revelation or ineffable experience. Its genuine appeal consists in stepping back from oneself and one’s desires, even including the pursuit of peace of mind.

Affiliations: 1: Philosophy and Religious Studies Programme, University of Macau, Macau, China E-mail:


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