Warp, Weft, and Way

Chinese and Comparative Philosophy 中國哲學與比較哲學

Joshua Mason – Columbia Society for Comparative Philosophy Lecture: “Cognitive Linguistics and Cultural Gulfs: From Embodied Metaphors to Responsible Generalizations”, Feb. 26 @5:30pm

THE COLUMBIA SOCIETY FOR COMPARATIVE PHILOSOPHY

Welcomes: JOSHUA MASON (West Chester University of Pennsylvania)
With responses from: DEREK SKILLINGS (CUNY Graduate Center)

Please join us at Columbia University’s Religion Department on FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26th at 5:30PM for his lecture entitled:

Cognitive Linguistics and Cultural Gulfs: From Embodied Metaphors to Responsible Generalizations”

ABSTRACT: An ongoing debate in comparative research is about whether we should see cultural diversities as manifestations of essential differences or as superficial variations on a universal blueprint. Edward Slingerland has pointed to cognitive linguistics and the use of embodied metaphors to emphasize the universality of concept formation and cognition across cultures. He suggests that this should quiet the “cultural essentialists” who take fundamental differences in eastern and western thinking as their starting points. Michael Puett has also leveled a critique of cultural essentialism in support of a presuppositionless approach, and Slingerland’s conclusions seem to offer him support. However, I will argue that even if all modern humans are broadly similar in metaphor use and cognitive processes, research in the humanities must continue to account for the differences implied by the particular metaphors employed and emphasized in diverse traditions. I contend that responsible hermeneutic practice does this through provisional, yet indispensable, generalizations. A starting point which recognizes the existence of cultural gulfs will facilitate, not vitiate, future advances in cross-cultural understanding.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26

5:30-7:30 pm

Rm. 101, 80 Claremont Ave, Columbia University

http://goo.gl/maps/zfUKH

 

UPCOMING COMPARATIVE PHILOSOPHY SEMINAR EVENTS:

March 18: Harvey Lederman (NYU)

April 8: Shigenori Nagatomo (Temple University)

April 29: Sara McClintock (Emory University)

PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE:

http://www.cbs.columbia.edu/cscp/

February 15th, 2016 Posted by | Comparative philosophy, Lecture | 4 comments

4 Responses to Joshua Mason – Columbia Society for Comparative Philosophy Lecture: “Cognitive Linguistics and Cultural Gulfs: From Embodied Metaphors to Responsible Generalizations”, Feb. 26 @5:30pm

  1. Rina Camus says:

    I am working on “shared metaphors” between early Greek and Chinese thinkers as tool for comparison. It is actually very interesting to note how shared metaphors (like archery!) reflect MORE cultural differences THAN similarities.
    See my recent doctoral dissertation “形相近,意相遠: Archery Metaphor in Confucius and Aristotle”, supervised by Dennis Schilling. http://nccur.lib.nccu.edu.tw/bitstream/140.119/76210/1/506101.pdf

    • Josh Mason says:

      Hi Rina. In this paper I’ll be focusing on the metaphor of harmony (which I see from your diss that you have read up on) because it is especially relevant to Puett’s claims. At the East-West Philosopher’s Conference in May I’ll be focusing on the metaphor of morality as walking a path without slipping or losing one’s way. I think archery should be a rich source of meaning and I look forward to reading further into your work.

  2. Rina Camus says:

    Thank you for the reply, Josh! Yes, I’ve read up a bit on harmony as shared metaphor and found particularly helpful an article by Alan Chan (“Harmony as a Contested Metaphor”, in King & Schilling 2010). Interesting how 和 is a musical and culinary concept in Chinese literature, while on the Greek side harmony is associated, apart from music, with aesthetic proportion and organic unity.
    It’s a pity I won’t be able to attend your lecture on the 26th. I’ll watch out for an opportunity to meet you and read up on your pubilcations during my research stance at Berkeley, Mar -June this year.

  3. Rina Camus says:

    Thank you for the reply, Josh! Yes, I’ve read up a bit on harmony as shared metaphor and found particularly helpful an article by Alan Chan (“Harmony as a Contested Metaphor”, in King & Schilling 2010). Interesting how 和 is a musical and culinary concept in Chinese literature, while on the Greek side harmony is associated, apart from music, with aesthetic proportion and organic unity.
    It’s a pity I won’t be able to attend your lecture on the 26th. I’ll watch out for an opportunity to meet you and read up on your publications during my research stance at Berkeley, Mar -June this year.

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