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Cosmos and Hearth: A Cosmopolite’s Viewpoint

Copyright Date: 1996
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 216
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  • Book Info
    Cosmos and Hearth
    Book Description:

    In a volume that represents the culmination of his life’s work in considering the relationship between culture and landscape, eminent scholar Yi-Fu Tuan argues that “cosmos” and “hearth” are two scales that anchor what it means to be fully and happily human.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8707-7
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. I-VI)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. VII-VIII)
    (pp. IX-X)
    (pp. 1-14)

    InThe Wind in the Willows, Mole has just returned to his cozy home underground. Soon he lays his head contentedly on his pillow. Before he closes his eyes he lets them wander around his room, “mellow in the glow of the firelight ... on familiar friendly things.” How good it is to be back! Yet he would not want to abandon the splendid spaces above ground; he has no intention of turning his back on sun and air and creeping home and staying there. “The upper world was too strong, it called to him still, even down there, and...

  5. 2 CHINA
    (pp. 15-72)

    The theme “cosmos and hearth” has many resonances in Chinese culture and history. It is captured, for a start, in the termst’ien(heaven) andti(earth), a polarized pair that is also a commonplace of other cultures, often anthropomorphized as Sky Father and Earth Mother. The two powers—heaven and earth—are not quite equal by historic times. Heaven has a slight edge, to the extent that it is seen as masculine, in contrast to earth, which is feminine. It may be that in an earlier time, before the emergence of writing and cities, greater emphasis was placed on...

    (pp. 73-132)

    Ethnocentrism is a trait common to all societies. This does not mean, of course, that societies are equally ethnocentric, that they—to anything like equal degree—see themselves not only as the center of the world, a model others naturally look up to, but even as constituting (in all things that matter) the world. To these broad generalizations, I add two more. One is that in premodern times, China was outstandingly ethnocentric, a product of its four thousand years of continuous history in the course of which it encountered only people who were either militarily weaker or culturally less advanced....

    (pp. 133-188)

    China and the United States are megapolitical entities, created, respectively, over a long and a relatively short period of time. In each case, hearths have merged, without necessarily losing all trace of their original identities, into larger wholes. Often this merging has occurred by force; whence the bad reputation of cosmos. More often it has occurred through ongoing, peaceful processes of interchange and communication, voluntary imitation and assimilation. In retrospect, even this peaceful weaving and merging of hearths into larger wholes can be seen in a negative light as destructive of difference, the integrity of particular hearths, and importantly from...

  8. NOTES
    (pp. 189-200)
  9. INDEX
    (pp. 201-204)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 205-205)