This new English translation of François Jullien’s work is a compelling summation of his thinking on the comparison between Western and Chinese thought. The title, From Being to Living, summarises his essential point: that western thinking is obsessed by – and determined as well as limited by – the notion of Being, whereas traditional Chinese thought was always situated in Living. Organized as a lexicon around some 20 concepts that juxtapose Chinese and Western thought, Jullien explores the ways the two have historically evolved, and how many aspects of Chinese thought developed in complete isolation from the West, revealing a different way of relating to the world. Translated by Michael Richardson and Krzysztof Fijalkowski, this text explores Chinese thinking and language in order to excavate elements from them that reveal the fault lines of western thinking. This is an important book for students, scholars and practitioners alike across the Social Sciences.
Chapter XVI: Ambiguous (vs Equivocal)
Ambiguous (vs Equivocal)
1 We wouldn’t be able to put an end to suspicion by continually slicing between the terms of language in order to open up the divergence between them and cause them to reflect by offering them an opposing perspective. Wouldn’t some cracks already be hidden beneath the most adjacent meanings and lead towards their opposition? Evidence of this is that the equivocal and the ambiguous are considered to be synonyms and are ordinarily glossed in similar terms without any further thought being given to it. Yet I think it would be interesting to turn these synonyms into antonyms so as precisely to dissolve what is equivocal. There is ‘equi-vocation’ when I maintain two meanings ‘equally’ in my ‘words’, which ...