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Abstract

In 1980, Umberto Eco’s first novel Il nome della rosa was published in Italy and has quickly had global resonance, entering China by the late 1980s. Since then, six translations have been published in the Chinese language, including two issued by Taiwanese translators. It is interesting to observe how each version is able to refract the socio-cultural contexts of the translators, depending on the aspirations and cultural images created in the different periods and geographic areas. We need also consider that, especially in the case of Eco’s novels, the translators had to not only deal with the different needs and expectations of their readers but also imagine a ‘new model reader’, just as Eco did. Therefore, this paper aims at confronting the six different translated versions, by identifying the new model readers imagined by the translators, considering their own expectations, knowledge, and cultural context.

Open Access
In: Signs and Media
Author:

Abstract

I explore two important ways of thinking that the philosophical understanding of morality requires metaphysics: the moral metaphysics I ascribe to Xunzi and Kant’s metaphysics of morals. Both Xunzi and Kant held that a metaphysics of nature is inadequate for a metaphysical understanding of human moral agency. Xunzi invoked the human Dao to allow for the agency of the heart-mind, and Kant invoked the Categorical Imperative to allow for the agency of the moral self. Both Xunzi and Kant stretched metaphysics through rejecting the wrong sorts of rigour as preventing us from having an appropriate understanding of metaphysics and morality. I turn to their different placements of humanity that reflect deep differences in Xunzi’s and Kant’s underlying metaphysics. Xunzi placed humanity as a virtue or power that allows our psychology to become a moral psychology. Kant placed humanity as an ideal that allows our psychology to be a moral psychology.

Open Access
In: Journal of Chinese Philosophy
Author:

Abstract

In this article, I discuss parthood status in mereologically interpreted Daoist metaphysics, based on the Daodejing. I depart from the dao and you interrelation, which mereologically overlap by sharing parts. I consider the case of a complete overlap, which (a) challenges proper parthood, according to which a part cannot be identical with the whole that it composes, and (b) entails the question of identity that, while complying with classical mereology, cannot be consistent with Daoist metaphysics. The discussion leads to abandoning proper parthood and antisymmetry axiom from classical axiomatics. It also shows a plausible further direction for mereological reconstruction.

Open Access
In: Journal of Chinese Philosophy
Open Access
In: Signs and Media

Abstract

This article aims to describe the synchronic system of Chinese characters by investigating its cognitive trait of signs. Unlike alphabetic writing systems in which letters represent sounds, Chinese characters convey their meaning in part through images, which makes its synchronic system unique and requires a reconfiguration of the Saussurean framework of signifier and signified. I argue that the Chinese system is instead comprised of three components: pattern, meaning, and formation. Through a close investigation of the historical development of the Chinese character system and drawing on Peirce’s classification of the sign, I propose a threefold adaptation of Saussure’s semiology to Chinese that challenges the arbitrary relationship between signifier and signified, reconfigures the signifier from sound-image to visual character pattern, and proposes a morphological view that takes account of aesthetic principles in the generation and function of meaning.

Open Access
In: Signs and Media
In: Signs and Media
In: Signs and Media
Author:

Abstract

The three positions of decodings proposed by communication theorist Stuart Hall have become a starting point for contemporary cultural studies. He insists that receivers of cultural products are not necessarily passive but can be ‘oppositional’. Media scholar John Fiske has further advanced the theory, suggesting that receivers can turn to be ‘producerly’ in their reception of cultural products. The present paper sheds light on the possibility of a more active, even creative position on the part of receivers, particularly in relation to popular songs and other interactive texts. Receivers of cultural products are powerful others to the ‘producing elite’. Jürgen Habermas’s idea of ‘com-subjectivity’ provides a theoretical foundation for the validity and desirability of such ‘creative decoding’.

Open Access
In: Signs and Media
In: Signs and Media