Read our response to COVID-19 and sign up for updates | View our current Customer Support status
  View site in English, Español, or Français
The fair-trade ticketing company.
Sign Me Up!  |  Log In
Find An Event Create Your Event Help
"Confucius Asked Lao Tzu About the Ultimate Way..." with Stephen Walker
Chicago, IL
Share this event:

Kibbitznest Liberal Arts Discussions are a collaboration with The University of Chicago Graham School to host presentations and discussions of original research, hosted at Kibbitznest Books, Brews & Blarney.

All proceeds benefit the kibbitznest nonprofit, with a mission to encourage face-to-face communication, inspire conversation, and bring our community together to share insights and philosophies in a Socratic dialogue.


About the Discussion:

What is Daoism, and what are its central ideas? What is the famous Way that Daoists speak of, and how does it compare to concepts like reality or God? Is the Way something like the flow in the phrase go with the flow?

Tonight well examine and discuss an ancient dialogue between Confuciusthe paragon of conventional moralityand Lao Tzu, the paragon ofwell, something else entirely. This dialogue is essentially a work of fiction, and its two characters are mouthpieces for ideologies rather than flesh-and-blood historical people. The dialogue hails from the Zhuangzi (Chuang-tzu), often considered the second most important work of Daoist thought but in fact far exceeding the more famous Tao Te Ching in philosophical and narrative richness.

In order to understand what the Way is for Lao Tzu, we need to follow him through several stages of reflection and imagination. With him as our guide, well behold the bright growing from the dark and ordered things from chaos. Well situate ourselves in the vast stretches of a boundless world, and ask whether theres any way for things to be except exactly as they are. Lao Tzus Way is the basis of all things, having, therefore, no characteristics of its own. It underlies all our paltry ways of doing things, and is deeper than any value or objective we hold dear. Therefore, he argues, its only by relying on something we neither seek nor wish for that we can seek or wish for anything.

Sponsor: Kibbitznest Books, Brews & Blarney

STEPHEN WALKER is a PhD candidate at University of Chicago Divinity School studying philosophy and the history of philosophy across multiple traditions. His main research focuses on classical Chinese thought; his dissertation, Boundless Ways: Navigating Norms in the Zhuangzi, examines that text's pragmatic and pluralistic critique of value. 

Registration is not necessary but appreciated due to space limitations.

kibbitznest is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization and wifi-free zone dedicated to the preservation of quality face-to-face human communication.
Registration Options
There are no active dates for this event.


Kibbitznest (View)
2212 N. Clybourn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
United States


Arts > Literary
Education > Workshops
Other > Spiritual
Social > Adult

Minimum Age: 21
Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


Contact us
1-800-838-3006 US, Canada, Puerto Rico
Ticket Buyers
Track Your Order
Browse Events
Event Producers
Create an Event
Buy Pre-Printed Tickets
The Venue List
Find out about local events
Get daily or weekly email notifications of new and discounted events in your neighborhood.
Sign up for local events
Connect with us
Follow us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Instagram
Watch us on YouTube
Read our blog
Get to know us
Use of this service is subject to the Terms of Usage, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy of Brown Paper Tickets. All rights reserved. © 2000-2020 Mobile EN ES FR