This Is The Way: Chinese Philosophy Podcast

Episode 4: Persuasion

March 11, 2024 Richard Kim and Justin Tiwald Season 1 Episode 4
This Is The Way: Chinese Philosophy Podcast
Episode 4: Persuasion
Show Notes Chapter Markers

In this episode we discuss the topic of persuasion by exploring a dialogue between Confucius and his disciple Yan Hui in Chapter Four of the Zhuangzi.

Among the questions we explore are: (1) Is persuading someone who disagrees with you even possible? (2) Under what conditions might someone be persuaded to a different viewpoint? (3) What is the concept of "fasting of the mind" as presented by Confucius? (4) What kind of power do philosophical arguments possess?

Show notes:
We used the translation of the Zhuangzi from Paul Kjellberg in Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy (Hackett).

Other notable translations mentioned in our episode:
(1) Brook Ziporyn, Zhuangzi: The Complete Writings (Hackett)
(2) Richard John Lynn, Zhuangzi: A New Translation of the Sayings of Master Zhuang as Interpreted by Guo Xiang (Columbia University Press)
(3) Burton Watson, The Complete Works of Zhuangzi (Columbia University Press)

Some references mentioned in the episode:

(1) Robert Nozick, Philosophical Explanations: "Perhaps philosophers need arguments so powerful they set up reverberations in the brain: if the person refuses to accept the conclusion, he dies. How's that for a powerful argument."

(2) Daryl Davis, musician who converted over 200 Ku Klux Klan members to give up their robes.

In the next episode we will be inviting Tao JIANG as our guest to discuss partialism and impartialism in classical Chinese philosophy.

Want to continue the discussion? Need links to some of the sources mentioned? Go to the support page for this episode on Warp, Weft, and Way.

We thank Lena Li (LI La 李拉 ) for her expert editing and sound engineering. We also thank the blog Warp, Weft & Way for hosting the discussion for this episode.

Richard Kim's website
Justin Tiwald's website

Part I -- Introduction
• Preface to today's topic and passage
Part II -- Daoist "persuasion"
• Richard sets the stage for the dialogue
• The four psychological profiles
• Profile #1: missionary zeal
• Profile #2: non-confrontational integrity
• Profile #3: quiet inner integrity
• Profile #4: no agendas
• Does the Daoist persuader even "intend" to convert?
• What, then, is the point of giving someone reasons for your view?