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Culture and the notion of discourse
( 发布日期:2018-10-11 阅读:次)


讲座题目:

1.Culture and the notion of discourse

2.The creativity of dialogue: lessons of the Zhuangzi

      主讲专家:Wolfgang Teubert

时间:2018.10.18(周四)  14:00

地点:外语楼318会议室


讲座内容:

1.Culture is seen as what distinguishes humankind from nature. Opinions differ as to whether culture is not also material. Is culture always symbolic, i. e. negotiated within a discourse, or does culture also include the materiality (natural objects, artefacts and individuals) of a social world? Many see culture as our collective response the real world (the world outside of discourse) and the meaning we assign to it in discourse. Culture never stands still; it evolves. Together with others, we can change the meaning we attach to material and linguistic signs, thus re-constructing what the world we live in means to us. I will discuss a number of contemporary cultural theories.

2.Classical Chinese philosophy can make an eminent contribution to issues discussed in modern language philosophy. Confucian, Mohist and Daoist texts can be read to engage in a rather acrimonious discussion of the role of language:(ming [‘names’], yan [‘words’]) in the context of the reality of the natural, spiritual and, in particular, social world. The agenda of the Zhuangzi, a text less known in the western world, is often surprisingly close to western present-day constructivist approaches (e.g. Foucault, Luhmann, Potter, Fairclough). The text contains a number of paradoxes dealing with the relationship between discourse, speaker/listener and reality. I will deal with three of them: the fishtrap/rabbit snare; the butterfly, and the happiness of fish paradoxes. The Zhuangzi insists that we cannot expect solitary minds to come up with new ideas. Only dialogic communication, conducted as a sort of a joint mental xiao yao you [‘carefree wandering’], will engender creativity and set our minds free to test new perspectives. What distinguishes human intelligence from that of animals and computers is communication in the form of dialogue defined by the arbitrariness of lexical signs, the continual renegotiation of the meaning of words, text segments and whole texts. Human intelligence is not solitary but collective: it feeds on plurivocal discourse. The scepticism of the Zhuangzi ties in well with contemporary hermeneutics. Corpus linguistics, combined with classical philology, extracts, organises and presents the textual evidence concerning the Zhuangzi’s paradoxes as they appear in the text itself and as they have been read by the interpretive community. The plurality of contradictory perspectives encourages us to come up with our own ideas on the role language plays for us.




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