“Globalization, Scientific Lexicons, and the Future of Biology” is an ambitious and radical article in which Professor Keller proposes that biology should introduce a new, verb-based linguistic framework for its research. However, instead of developing such a proposal in detail, Keller turns to searching out a cross-cultural grounding. Based on Nisbett's comparative psycho-linguistics and Lloyd's comparative studies on ancient Greek and Chinese sciences, Keller finds that Chinese science is embodied in a verb-based language. For example, the Huainanzi takes the term shui (水, water) to mean “soaking downward,” huo (火, fire) “flaming upward,” and the like. As a consequence, Chinese language and science appear significantly different from noun-based Western languages and science. Aware of the pitfalls of an East/West dichotomy, Professor Keller takes the development of feminist theory as an analogue to elaborate her position. Carefully noting that “historians, like feminist...
A Linguistic or an Ontological Problem? Some Comments
Ruey-Lin Chen is a philosophy of science professor at National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan. His current research interest is in the scientific practices across physical, biological, and experimental cases. He has published three articles in East Asian Science, Technology and Society.
Ruey-Lin Chen; A Linguistic or an Ontological Problem? Some Comments. East Asian Science, Technology and Society 1 September 2017; 11 (3): 391–395. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/18752160-3906316
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