Fate, Fortune, Chance, and Luck in Chinese and Greek: A Comparative Semantic History
Posted on 25. May, 2009 by James Miller
|Title||Fate, Fortune, Chance, and Luck in Chinese and Greek: A Comparative Semantic History|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2003|
|Journal||Philosophy East and West|
The semantic fields and root metaphors of "fate" in Classical Greece and pre-Buddhist China are surveyed here. The Chinese material focuses on the Warring States, the Han, and the reinvention of the earlier lexicon in contemporary Chinese terms for such concepts as risk, randomness, and (statistical) chance. The Greek study focuses on Homer, Parmenides, the problem of fate and necessity, Platonic daimons, and the "On Fate" topos in Hellenistic Greece. The study ends with a brief comparative metaphorology of metaphors for the action of fate including command, division or allotment, and wheel or cycles of change.