Dr. Yang Xiao, Kenyon College 2016
“The Song of the Earth: Natural Meaning and Metaphor in Chinese Philosophy”
Can nature speak to us? Can mountains and rivers have meaning? Can a birdsong transform the way we perceive the world? Can one answer these questions in the affirmative without committing oneself to crude anthropomorphism? Dr. Xiao will argue that there is an embedded theory of metaphor in the way Confucius and his students read the Book of Songs, the oldest collection of Chinese poetry. He will then show how this theory of metaphor can be used to make sense of natural meaning.
Dr. Yang Xiao is the Chair of the Philosophy Department at Kenyon College.