Philosophy East and West 60 (4):458-475 (2010)

Christian Wenzel
National Taiwan University
This is an essay about language, thought, and culture in general, and about Ancient Greek and Classical Chinese in particular. It is about the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which says that language influences the mind, and applies this hypothesis to Greek and Chinese. It is also an essay in comparative philosophy as well as a contribution to the history of ideas. From the language side, I rely on the nineteenth-century German linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt, and from the culture side on the contemporary French sinologist François Jullien. Combining their ideas, I give substance to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and explain some of Jullien's claims about the historical and political developments of Chinese culture. The central ..
Keywords Sapir-Whorf hypothesis  Chinese language  meaning  comparative philosophy
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DOI 10.1353/pew.2010.0011
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