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That All May FlourishComparative Religious Environmental Ethics$
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Laura Hartman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190456023

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190456023.001.0001

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Daoism, Natural Life, and Human Flourishing

Daoism, Natural Life, and Human Flourishing

Chapter:
(p.76) (p.77) 4 Daoism, Natural Life, and Human Flourishing
Source:
That All May Flourish
Author(s):

David E. Cooper

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190456023.003.0005

The chapter begins with a discussion of Daoist virtues that lead to human flourishing and the Daoist conception of how a life goes well, what it shows about, and implies for, people’s relationship to the natural world of plants, animals, and environment. Humans are not distinct from these other life forms; rather, they are all “living beings” composed of qi (vital energy or life force). Qualities such as ziran (spontaneity or naturalness) lead to a relationship with animals characterized by care and nurture. According to the chapter, Daoists are more likely to be “responsible gardeners, farmers, and foresters” than “eco-warriors.” Nevertheless, the environmental ethic inspired by this tradition shows promise for creating real change in the world.

Keywords:   Daoism and ecology, environmental ethics, animals and ethics, gardening, ziran, David E. Cooper

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