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Title: Classical Confucian philosophy of culture : a dialogue with Ernst Cassirer's philosophy of symbolic forms
Author: Xiang, Shuchen
ISNI:       0000 0004 7970 0818
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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This dissertation will give a philosophical account of the significance of "wen" in the Confucian tradition. It will do so through dialogue with Ernst Cassirer's philosophy of symbolic forms which is comparable, in many respects, to the philosophy behind wen. The genealogy of Cassirer's philosophy of symbolic forms will also provide a meta-philosophical background for the reasons behind this commensurability. Chapter one offers an account of the intellectual history behind Cassirer's philosophy of symbolic forms and elucidates the key characteristics of his philosophy. These characteristics, it is argued, are shared by the Confucian tradition and are referred to throughout the dissertation. Chapter two explores Xici 2.2 - the most canonical account of the genesis of culture in the Chinese tradition - through the terms of Cassirer's philosophy of symbolic formation. Chapters three and four shows how the same paradigm explored in chapter two applies to Confucian views on poetry/music and writing respectively. Chapter five discusses the same issues in relation to the Confucian view of the self. Chapter six demonstrates that both the Confucian and Cassirerian view of culture can be understood as indebted to an "organicist" paradigm. Throughout the dissertation, emphasis is placed on the humanism that Confucianism and Cassirer share, which overcomes the dualisms persistent in the history of western philosophy.
Supervisor: Callanan, John Joseph ; Beaney, Michael Anthony Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available