How Confucius Does Things with Words: Two Hermeneutic Paradigms in the Analects and Its Exegeses: In Memoriam: Benjamin Schwartz
This essay attempts to discover patterns of communicative and hermeneutic practices in the Analects, as well as in the commentary tradition, known as jingxue (classicism). The Analectscontains at least two distinctive paradigms showing different ways of interpreting speech: One is Confucius's pragmatic approach, which emphasizes the intention and purpose of the speaker, and the other is Gongxi Hua's approach, which focuses on the literal meaning of the speech. Examples of each paradigm can be found in the long history of the exegeses of the Analects. Commentaries by two groups of scholars are discussed: those whose approach is similar to that of Confucius (Sima Qian, Zheng Xuan, Mouzi, Huang Kan, Cheng Yi, and Zhu Xi) and those whose approach is similar to that of Gongxi Hua (Xianqiu Meng, Han Fei, Wing-tsit Chan, Ya Hanzhang, and Wang Yousan).
The Journal of Asian Studies