An Exercise in Historical Conceptual Ethnography: Greek, Latin, and Chinese in a Global Comparative Context
Christoph Harbsmeier (University of Oslo)

April 26, 2016, 10:00am - 11:30am
China Studies Research Centre, La Trobe University

Boardroom, Level 20
La Trobe Collins St Campus, 360 Collins Street
Melbourne 3000


John Makeham
La Trobe University


Abstract: In this seminar I will compare some basic classical Chinese and classical Greek as well as Latin cultural keywords and basic concepts. On this basis I shall attempt a historico-philological critique of some basic presuppositions in the analytic
philosophy of Donald Davidson in his important article “On the very idea of a
conceptual scheme”, and I shall argue for the need for “basic philosophical fieldwork”
as crucial for any soundly based and non-parochial philosophy of language.

All welcome. For catering purposes, please RSVP by COB
Friday 22 April. Contact: T: + 61 3 9479 5702

Professor Christoph Harbsmeier is Professor of Chinese at
the University of Oslo. His main work is in the history of
science (logic), conceptual history, historical linguistics, and
modern Chinese cartoons. His publications include
Language and Logic in Traditional China (= Science and
Civilisation in China, vol. 7.1), Cambridge University Press
(1998), Aspects of Classical Chinese Syntax (1981) as well
as The Cartoonist Feng Zikai (1984). His most recent book,
co-authored with Françoise Bottéro, is Chinese
Lexicography on Matters of the Heart: An Exploratory
Commentary on the Heart Radical in Shuo wen jie zi (Paris 2016). He is general
editor of the international project Thesaurus Linguae Sericae.

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