Can a Daoist Sage Have Close Relationships with Other Human Beings?

Joanna Iwanowska

About author

Joanna Iwanowska, PhD Candidate
University of Warsaw
Institute of Philosophy, Ethics Division,
ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 3
Pl-00-927 Warszawa



This paper explores the compatibility between the Daoist art of emptying one’s heart-mind (which is the key element of the identity of a Daoist sage) and the art of creating close relationships. The fact that a Daoist sage is characterized by an empty heart-mind makes him somewhat different from an average human being: since a full heart-mind is characteristic of the human condition, the sage transcends what makes us human. This could alienate him from others and make him incapable of developing close relationships. The research goal of this paper is to investigate whether – in spite of being an unusual human being – a Daoist sage has the abilities necessary for creating close bonds with others.

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