My study explores the pitfalls of presuming the «direct» experience of containment makes good sense of texts from Early China (ca. 500-100 b.c.e).3 Descriptions of sensory processes in classical and non-canonical early Chinese texts do not lend themselves to being interpreted through Lakoff and Johnson’s container model. If the body is a container in their sense, the sensory faculties would have to connect the self, which they understand as an internally contained substance, to a world that is clearly delineated as outside and other. But this does not match the portrait of sensory experience in early Chinese texts and it does not account for one of their most interesting features: the absence of fear of massive sensory deception.4
Copyright © 2012 Fabrizio Serra. This article first appeared in Antiquorum Philosophia 5 (2012), 11-30.
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Geaney, Jane. "Self as Container? Metaphors We Lose by in Understanding Early Chinese Texts." Antiquorum Philosophia 5 (2012): 11-30.