Mirrors, minds, and metaphors

Philosophy East and West 58 (3):pp. 337-357 (2008)
Abstract
The metaphor of the heart or mind as a mirror appears not only in the work of Zhuangzi and Xunzi but also in the work of Western philosophers such as Kierkegaard and Rorty. This essay shows how a properly contextualized comparison of the mirror metaphor in the work of these four philosophers highlights the different ways in which they use it, helping us to understand more clearly critical differences between their views. The significance of the mirror metaphor in the work of each thinker is studied in detail. Distinctively Chinese and Western understandings of mirrors, hearts, and minds are explored, and the importance of studying different cultural and philosophical understandings of metaphors is defended. The essay ends by assessing Edward Slingerland's claim that shared metaphors point toward deeper similarities between different views, in light of the foregoing analysis
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Edward Slingerland (2011). Metaphor and Meaning in Early China. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 10 (1):1-30.
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