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Full-Text Articles in Chinese Studies

Míng (名) As “Names” Rather Than “Words:” Disabled Bodies Speaking Without Acting In Early Chinese Texts, Jane Geaney Mar 2018

Míng (名) As “Names” Rather Than “Words:” Disabled Bodies Speaking Without Acting In Early Chinese Texts, Jane Geaney

Religious Studies Faculty Publications

My first scholarly article was about the work of A. C. Graham. Unfortunately, I never met him but my copies of his books became so worn from over-use that I had to replace them. My second, now equally worn, copy of Later Mohist Logic, Ethics, and Science opens to a statement that inspires my work:

A consistent nominalism has to extend its principle to the particular utterances of the name itself; I pronounce the sound ‘stone’ over X and afterwards convey that Y is like X by pronouncing a similar sound.

This claim has two important implications. First, in early ...


The Sounds Of Zhèngmíng: Setting Names Straight In Early Chinese Texts, Jane Geaney Jan 2011

The Sounds Of Zhèngmíng: Setting Names Straight In Early Chinese Texts, Jane Geaney

Religious Studies Faculty Publications

In early Chinese texts, straightness often indicates correctness, hence many things are said to be zhèng .1 But among them, only zhèngmíng 正名 emerged as a rhetorical slogan promising the production of order and elimination of human confusion and fakeness.2 In scholarship on Chinese ethics, the slogan is usually understood as working toward these goals by making behavior accord with names or by making “names” (norms or social roles) accord with behavior. By contrast, on the assumption that uses of the term “míng” (name/title/fame) involved what something is called or what is heard ...


Grounding "Language" In The Senses: What The Eyes And Ears Reveal About Ming 名 (Names) In Early Chinese Texts, Jane Geaney Jan 2010

Grounding "Language" In The Senses: What The Eyes And Ears Reveal About Ming 名 (Names) In Early Chinese Texts, Jane Geaney

Religious Studies Faculty Publications

Scholarship on early Chinese theories of “language” regularly treats the term ming 名 (name) as the equivalent of “word.” But there is a significant difference between a “word” and a “name.”1 Moreover, while a “word” is often understood to mean a unit of language that is identifiable in its sameness across speech and writing, there is reason to believe that a ming was mainly used to mean a unit of meaningful sound.2 Analyzing the function of ming is a prerequisite for understanding early Chinese theories of “language”—if such a term is even appropriate. Such an analysis will ...


Guarding Moral Boundaries: Shame In Early Confucianism, Jane Geaney Jan 2004

Guarding Moral Boundaries: Shame In Early Confucianism, Jane Geaney

Religious Studies Faculty Publications

Claims that China is a ‘‘shame culture’’ tend to presume that guilt is the superior moral motivation. Such claims characterize guilt as internally motivated and operative even if no outsider is aware of any wrongdoing. By contrast, they assume that shame occurs only when someone is observed. The observer represents the moral opinion of an outsider, and, as a result, shame is said to be externally motivated. In this view, genuinely moral motivation is internal. Internality is seen as a requirement for moral autonomy (the ability to make decisions independent of particular social norms), and only guilt cultures are thought ...


Sharing The Light: Representations Of Women And Virtue In Early China, By Lisa Raphals (Book Review), Jane Geaney Jan 2000

Sharing The Light: Representations Of Women And Virtue In Early China, By Lisa Raphals (Book Review), Jane Geaney

Religious Studies Faculty Publications

Lisa Raphals' Sharing the Light is a useful collection of the latest available information regarding the role of women in early Chinese history. In contrast to conventional interpretations, Raphals aims to demonstrate that in early China women were not as socially constrained as later periods portrayed them. The focus and the main virtue of her work lies in collating and interpreting a significant amount of information on this topic.


The Way Of Water And Sprouts Of Virtue, By Sarah Allan (Book Review), Jane Geaney Jan 2000

The Way Of Water And Sprouts Of Virtue, By Sarah Allan (Book Review), Jane Geaney

Religious Studies Faculty Publications

Sarah Allan, in The Way of Water and Sprouts of Virtue, explores the premise that linguistic concepts are rooted in culturally specific imagery. Allan argues that in the process of translation the target language inevitably grafts its own imagery onto the concepts of the original language. Therefore the translation process fails to capture the range of meaning and the structural relations between terms in the original language. Allan's work elaborates this point via an analysis of the metaphors related to water and plants in early Chinese philosophical thought.


Mencius And Early Chinese Thought, By Kwong-Loi Shun (Book Review), Jane Geaney Jan 1999

Mencius And Early Chinese Thought, By Kwong-Loi Shun (Book Review), Jane Geaney

Religious Studies Faculty Publications

Although "ethics" does not appear in the title, Kwong-Loi Shun's Mencius and Early Chinese Thought is an analysis of ethics in the Mencius. Shun's goal is to "further our understanding of the Confucian perspective on the ethical life" (p. 8). His painstakingly careful presentation of passages of Mencian ethics certainly achieves this aim.


Critique Of A.C. Graham's Reconstruction Of The Neo-Mohist Canons, Jane Geaney Jan 1999

Critique Of A.C. Graham's Reconstruction Of The Neo-Mohist Canons, Jane Geaney

Religious Studies Faculty Publications

A. C. Graham's Later Mohist Logic, Ethics, and Sciences (1978) is the only Western-language translation of the obscure and textually corrupt chapters of the Mozi that purportedly constitute the foundations of ancient Chinese logic. Graham's presentation and interpretation of this difficult material has been largely accepted by scholars. This article questions the soundness of Graham's reconstruction of these chapters (the so-called "Neo-Mohist Canons"). Upon close examination, problems are revealed in both the structure and the content of the framework Graham uses to interpret the Canons. Without a more reliable framework for interpreting the text, it seems best ...