One of the things outsiders are most interested in is the philosophies. Thus, names like Laozi and Zhuangzi are now better known than before. This paper shall focus on the philosophies of these two, hitherto, less known philosophers. In the paper I shall explain their philosophies, draw comparisons and contrasts, and then endeavor to point out the superior philosophy among the two.
Laozi was born and died during the reign of the Zhou dynasty. He was a firm believer in Taoism. He was a philosopher in then ancient China. His best work was the Tao Te Ching. This has led to him variously to be anointed as the founder of Taoism (pronounced as Daoism). There are many controversies regarding his main work referred to above. There are those who believe that the Tao Te Ching was a compilation of several Tao sayings by several other people over time (Ivanhoe & Norden 113).
There is also a side that believes that this was entirely the work of Laozi. This is a situation very much like what Shakespeare faces today. However, there is no contention that he was incredibly gifted. To show how influential he might have been during his time, there are works that seem to suggest that Confucius consulted Laozi on matters of morals. There are even myths regarding his birth.
Zhuangzi on the other hand, also referred to as Master Zhuang was born in 369 BCE and died aged 83 years old. He is said to have been greatly influenced by the Daoism espoused by Laozi. Therefore they shared several philosophical viewpoints but inevitably there were differences too. His main work was also named after him (Ivanhoe & Norden 135). Unlike Laozi, less is known about Zhuang.
Conversely however, when the researcher starts to find material relating to these two philosophers, Zhuangzi’s philosophies are more readily available. They are also better explained than those of Laozi. The main reason why this is the case is because many people see Zhuangzi as the inheritor of Laozi’s crown.