Generalizations, Cultural Essentialism, and Metaphorical Gulfs

Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 17 (4):479-497 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

An ongoing debate in comparative research is about whether we should see cultural diversities as manifestations of essential differences or as superficial variations on a universal blueprint. Edward Slingerland has pointed to cognitive science and the use of embodied metaphors to emphasize the universality of concept formation and cognition across cultures. He suggests that this should quiet the “cultural essentialists” who take fundamental differences in Eastern and Western thinking as their starting points. Michael Puett has also leveled a critique of cultural essentialism in support of a presuppositionless approach, and Slingerland’s conclusions seem to offer him support. However, I will argue that even if all modern humans are broadly similar in metaphor use and cognitive processes, research in the humanities must continue to account for the differences implied by the particular metaphors employed and emphasized in diverse traditions. I contend that responsible hermeneutic practice does this through provisional, yet indispensable, generalizations.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,517

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Cognitive-methodological functions of metaphors.Marek Hetmański - 2021 - Argument: Biannual Philosophical Journal 11 (1).
The essence of essentialism?Nick Haslam - 2014 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (5):491-492.
Undoing the 'Package Picture' of Cultures.Uma Narayan - 2004 - Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 25 (4):1083-1086.
The Inadequacy of Paraphrase is the Dogma of Metaphor.Mark Phelan - 2010 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (4):481-506.
Metaphors.Ana Pasztor - 2004 - Pragmatics and Cognition 12 (2):317-350.

Analytics

Added to PP
2018-09-26

Downloads
29 (#548,815)

6 months
8 (#529,194)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Art as Experience.John Dewey - 2005 - Penguin Books.
The Republic.Paul Plato & Shorey - 2000 - ePenguin. Edited by Cynthia Johnson, Holly Davidson Lewis & Benjamin Jowett.
Art as Experience.John Dewey - 1934 - New Yorke: Perigee Books.
Confucian role ethics: a vocabulary.Roger T. Ames - 2011 - Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press.

View all 21 references / Add more references