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A Philosophy of the Unsayable

University of Notre Dame Press (2014)

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  1. Naming the Unnamable: A Comparison between W ANG Bi’s Commentary on the Laozi and Derrida’s Khōra.Gabriella Stanchina - 2020 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 19 (3):409-426.
    In this article, I compare WANG Bi’s 王弼 rendition of Dao 道 as the nameless, unfathomable root of language and the totality of beings, with Derrida’s analysis of the term khōra. Both cases include a text that presents itself as a commentary on another text, namely the Laozi 老子 for Wang Bi and Plato’s Timaeus for Derrida, whose matter is declared as elusive and ungraspable. I analyze the analogies between these two attempts to convey the unsayable, as well as the (...)
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  • All or Nothing? Nature in Chinese Thought and the Apophatic Occident.William Franke - 2014 - Comparative Philosophy 5 (2).
    This paper develops an interpretation of nature in classical Chinese culture through dialogue with the work of François Jullien. I understand nature negatively as precisely what never appears as such nor ever can be exactly apprehended and defined. For perception and expression entail inevitably human mediation and cultural transmission by semiotic and hermeneutic means that distort and occult the natural in the full depth of its alterity. My claim is that the largely negative approach to nature that Jullien finds in (...)
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  • Nothingness and the Aspiration to Universality in the Poetic ‘Making’ of Sense: An Essay in Comparative East–West Poetics.William Franke - 2016 - Asian Philosophy 26 (3):241-264.
    ABSTRACTAs a contribution to comparative East-West poetics, this essay descries a common resource of Western and classical Chinese literatures in certain “apophatic” modes of thought and discourse that are oriented to what cannot be said, to what is manifest only in and through a certain evasion and defiance of all efforts to verbalize and conceptualize it. This argument is developed in critical counterpoint with the work of interpreting Chinese classical poetry and thought by the French philosopher and sinologist François Jullien. (...)
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