Zhiyin and Zhiyan, knowing notes and knowing words: Aurality and reality in ancient China

Submitted by James Miller on Tue, 02/14/2012 - 15:23
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TitleZhiyin and Zhiyan, knowing notes and knowing words: Aurality and reality in ancient China
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsBerthel, K.
Corporate AuthorsFuller, Michael A.
Academic DepartmentProQuest Dissertations and Theses
Date Published2010
PublisherUniversity of California, Irvine
Place PublishedUnited States -- California
ISBN Number9781124207834
KeywordsAsian literature, Music, Philosophy

This dissertation focuses on the philosophies of language and music of three Warring States philosophers--Mo Zi, Zhuang Zi, and Xun Zi--who represent the "final" word from the period for the major traditions that would come to be known as Mohism, Daoism, and Confucianism, respectively. Additionally, there is a chapter dedicated to the period philosophy of music in general, with a study of the contents of the Yue Ji ( Record of Music ). The primary aim is not an effort to understand the mechanics of each school's philosophy of language or music per se--though this is an important fundamental, of course--but rather to draw conclusions about the underlying cosmological commitments that can be inferred from the positions on language that each thinker carves out. Each thinker's position on the problem of language will be taken as revealing his cosmological perspectives, and the thesis gleans conclusions about the architecture of their cosmos (which none of these thinkers explicitly provides) from theories that are explicitly about language or music. The dialectic between the stated theories on aural phenomena and those on other areas of philosophy, such as ontology, epistemology, and ethical concerns, advance our understanding of all facets of each of these rich schools of thought, particularly by shedding light on precisely what sort of universal structure each of these conceived of their systems as operating within.