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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton November 26, 2020

The Cognitive Paradigm of Jingshen

“Unity of three-tiered self-cultivation” in traditional Chinese culture

Zhong Chen and Tingting Yao
From the journal Chinese Semiotic Studies

Abstract

At present, semiotic studies at home and abroad generally attach importance to the interpretation of symbols themselves, while the efforts in researching on the cognitive subject of symbols needs to be intensified and more attention should be paid to the process of symbolic activities. Cultural semiotics of jingshen attempts to construct a brand-new cognitive paradigm, not only to interpret the meaning of symbols, but also to develop the study of the relationship between the subject and the object in symbolic activities. In fact, the process of symbolic activities has been constantly emphasized in traditional Chinese culture. Although for an individual “the known” is infinite and “the knowable” is finite, the limitation of “the knowable” can be overcome through “self-cultivation.” The Chinese sages raised the concept of the “unity of three-tiered self-cultivation,” namely “unity of the mind and the body,” “unity of the mind and the objective world,” and “unity of apriorism and empiricism.” From the perspective of the cognitive paradigm, this concept gives due attention to the process of symbolic activities by emphasizing the effect of the cultivation of the cognitive subject on symbolic cognition and interpretation. The unity of the “three-tiered self-cultivation” of the cognitive subject can promote the development of a cultural semiotics of jingshen to construct an ideal cognitive paradigm in pursuing jingshen freedom and liberating symbolic meaning.

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Published Online: 2020-11-26
Published in Print: 2020-11-25

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