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Conference Paper: 'Saying' as action: Zhuangzian philosophy of language

Title'Saying' as action: Zhuangzian philosophy of language
Authors
Issue Date2013
Citation
The 2013 Graduate Student's Forum on Chinese Traditional Culture and Ultimate Concern, Renmin University of China, Beijing, China, 2013 How to Cite?
AbstractThis paper suggests that the central thesis in the Zhuāngzǐ concerning the philosophy of language is that ‘saying’ is action, which is contrasted with two other claims originating with earlier schools. One conceives of some old sayings as guidance for action, as presented by followers of Confucians, and the other words as reliable references to the world, as explored by the Mohist school. While some arguments by the Zhuangzists are clearly anti-linguistic in the sense that they regard words as incapable of expressing what the Dao is, it is also evident that they use language effectively to argue against their opponents and to explain the Dao in various ways. I shall argue that the main focus of the Zhuangzian criticism of specific usage of language lies in the following two areas: firstly the claim that sayings, by identifying certain paradigmatic patterns in the relation between actions and consequences, can guide people’s way of life: and, secondly, in the claim that words have their own, fixed references independent of the context in which they are used. The texts, consequently, suggest that ‘sayings’, like any other actions, should flexibly respond to the continuously changing world in order to follow the Dao.
DescriptionForum for Hong Kong and Beijing Graduate Students
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/205633

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorSuzuki, Yen_US
dc.date.accessioned2014-09-20T04:14:04Z-
dc.date.available2014-09-20T04:14:04Z-
dc.date.issued2013en_US
dc.identifier.citationThe 2013 Graduate Student's Forum on Chinese Traditional Culture and Ultimate Concern, Renmin University of China, Beijing, China, 2013en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/205633-
dc.descriptionForum for Hong Kong and Beijing Graduate Students-
dc.description.abstractThis paper suggests that the central thesis in the Zhuāngzǐ concerning the philosophy of language is that ‘saying’ is action, which is contrasted with two other claims originating with earlier schools. One conceives of some old sayings as guidance for action, as presented by followers of Confucians, and the other words as reliable references to the world, as explored by the Mohist school. While some arguments by the Zhuangzists are clearly anti-linguistic in the sense that they regard words as incapable of expressing what the Dao is, it is also evident that they use language effectively to argue against their opponents and to explain the Dao in various ways. I shall argue that the main focus of the Zhuangzian criticism of specific usage of language lies in the following two areas: firstly the claim that sayings, by identifying certain paradigmatic patterns in the relation between actions and consequences, can guide people’s way of life: and, secondly, in the claim that words have their own, fixed references independent of the context in which they are used. The texts, consequently, suggest that ‘sayings’, like any other actions, should flexibly respond to the continuously changing world in order to follow the Dao.en_US
dc.languageengen_US
dc.relation.ispartofForum on Chinese Traditional Culture and Ultimate Concern 2013en_US
dc.title'Saying' as action: Zhuangzian philosophy of languageen_US
dc.typeConference_Paperen_US
dc.description.naturelink_to_OA_fulltext-
dc.identifier.hkuros240258en_US

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