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Humanities Colloquium with Bryan Van Norden "How Not to Rectify Names"

Friday, December 7, 2018 - 10:00am

826 Williams Hall

Dr. Van Norden discusses Analects 13.3, the locus classicus for the expression zhèng míng 正名 (commonly translated “rectifying names” or “correcting terms”).  More specifically, he discusses contemporary English-language Interpretations of the passage, its dramatic context, its likely date of composition, and the history of interpretations of the passage.  This exploration will help illustrate the complementary lessons of Gadamer that “a person who is trying to understand a text is always projecting,” and “it is the tyranny of hidden prejudices that makes us deaf to what speaks to us in tradition."

Bryan William Van Norden is Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple Professor and Head of Studies of Philosophy at Yale-NUS in Singapore.

Lecture co-sponsored with the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations