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This book develops a modern evolutionary anthropological theory of the cognitive conditions for explanatory descriptions of the world.
Within the broad framework of processual hermeneutics, this monograph studies rationality by investigating what are the fundamental cognitive mechanisms required for the cultural development of rational constructions. It analyses the basic cognitive competences through which the human being connects categories and operations in a manner that allows it to orient itself in the world. If both understanding and explaining are forms of human-specific orientation, what does asking the question “how” imply cognitively? This monograph focuses therefore on the human-specific array of cognitive mechanisms, here referred to as enarrativity.
From the perspective of philosophical contrastive pragmatics, this study investigates our multiple selves as manifested in how we use language. Based on analyses of original and translation texts of Japanese and English literary works, the Japanese self is proposed as being fundamentally empty and yet richly populated with multiple subjective aspects, characters, and characteristics. Incorporating the concept of emptiness drawn from Japanese philosophical traditions and postmodernism primarily developed in the West, selves evidenced in grammar, style, and variation are investigated applying interpretive resources of linguistic subjectivity, character, and character-speak. Expressive gaps found in source and target texts across two languages lead us toward different ontological views, and guide us to engage in the rethinking of the concept of self.