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By Chad Hansen

This formidable e-book provides a brand new interpretation of chinese language idea guided either by way of a philosopher's experience of puzzle and by way of a legitimate philosophical idea of that means. That twin objective, Hansen argues, calls for a unified translation idea. It needs to supply a unmarried coherent account of the problems that inspired either the lately untangled chinese language linguistic research and the well-known moral-political disputes. Hansen's unified process uncovers a philosophical sophistication in Daoism that conventional money owed have ignored.

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A Daoist Theory of Chinese Thought: A Philosophical Interpretation

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Language is a central interest of modern and ancient philosophers. If the classical Chinese philosophers held a radically different theory of language, that fact could explain many other differences in a coherent, unified way. It would reveal their doctrines as a fully coherent alternative to the Western philosophical perspective. It could do so without having to resort to uncritical praise or even to the assumption that they got it right. It is enough that they had a credible theory and developed it in philosophically challenging and interesting ways.

The proposed focus on the theory of language allows us to turn our attention from dao to language. If language cannot express dao it must be due both to something about dao and something about language. Now we can look at the other, possibly intelligible, side of the Daoist puzzle. What do Daoists take to be the function and limits of language? Why is language so limited? An intelligible Daoist theory of the limits of language can explain in what sense something might resist linguistic expression.

That way, when different philosophers disagree with each other about philosophical topics, we will not dismiss their dispute as merely verbal. Not all philosophical disagreement is the result of using their key terms with different meanings. * In its attempt to recover the ancient Confucian dao, it typically painted Buddhism and Daoism as functional twins—the foil against which it distinguished Confucianism. It used Daoism as the classical place-marker against which to present its theory of the special merit of Confucianism.

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