The purpose of this paper is to study research method of “Chuang Tzu’s Theory of Human Nature.” In the past, researchers had two ways to examine Chuang Tzu’s Theory of Human Nature: One is “nature” in miscellaneous chapter, the content of Chuang Tzu’s theory of human nature by Mr. Tang Chun-yi, a representative scholar in this field; the other one is “virtue” in internal chapter by Mr. Hsu Fu-kuan, a representative scholar in this field.? After textual research, both methods are proven to be flawed.
This paper proposes “research method of pre-theory period” and “categorism theory research method;” the former focuses on scholars before the time Theory of Human Nature got its popularity.? Their perspectives and cognition of human nature are expressed naturally in their speaking and writings; through data interpretation, scholars’ opinion of human nature may be organized.? As to the latter research method, inter-correlated four-dimensional seven-scope life practice philosophy is used to indirectly infer those scholars’ opinion of human nature through content discussion beyond the scope of Theory of Human Nature.
By using the two research methods, this paper seems beneficial to the study of Chuang Tzu’s Theory of Human Nature, which may help examining true content of the theory.