Objects and events: Linguistic and philosophical notions of 'thingness'

Asian Philosophy 12 (2):97 – 108 (2002)
Abstract
The article deals with the differences of the notion of 'object' or 'thing' in natural languages, concluding that some languages are by their structure more object-biased while others are more event-biased and proceeds to analyse how two common Japanese words, mono and koto , both meaning 'thing', have been treated in 20th-century Japanese thought, notably in the philosophical works of Watsuji Tetsurô, Ide Takashi, Hiromatsu Wataru and Kimura Bin. All of these thinkers represent different schools and trends (Watsuji could be called a cultural particularist, Ide was an Aristotle scholar, Hiromatsu a Marxist and Kimura is a psychiatrist), but come to similar conclusions in this respect, allowing us to regard event-biased and object-biased linguistic constructions as manifestations of two different, but equally necessary cognitive faculties.
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