This research project is a study of Guo Xiang’s commentary on Zhuangzi. Numerous philosophers, scholars throughout Chinese history have contributed to the dissemination of Daoist philosophy, including: He Yan, (c. 195-249), Wang Bi (226-249), Xiang Xiu (227-272), Guo Xiang (c. 252-312), Lu Deming, (c. 550-630), Cheng Xuanying (608 - ?), Chen Jingyuan (1024-1094), Wang fuzhi (1619-1692), and Guo Qinfan (1844-1896). Guo Xiang’s commentary remains the most influential version of Zhuangzi.  Daoist texts, like Confucian texts, have survived the passage of time, not to mention the vicissitudes of recurring social upheaval and changing philosophical fashions, remaining of great interest and relevance over thousands of years. Indeed, they are arguably no less relevant today than they were when first written.

By translating and analysing Guo Xiang’s commentary, we are able to demonstrate the important contribution Guo Xiang has made to Daoist philosophy, as well as  the central role of commentary in the traditional reading of classics, and show how commentary could, and did, lend different meaning to classics; and  how, consequently Daoism  evolved over time as a result of the changing meaning of its canon.