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Is It Scripture or Not?

On Moments of Conceptual Tertium Datur

Ralph Weber

Focusing on examples related to the concept of scripture, I highlight certain moments of indecisiveness in the context of larger processes of possible conceptual change. In these moments, agents involved in the process frequently employ language that in one way or another expresses a conceptual tertium datur. This article sets out to distinguish some of those ways, such as analogy, assertions of resemblance, quasi-status or partial scripturality, oxymoronic adjectival qualification, and exclusivity by selection. The examples draw on four cases, the publication of the Sacred Books of the East series, Petrus Venerabilis's discussion of the Koran, a taxonomy by al-Shahrastānī with regard to the “People of the Book”, and the canonization of the Five Classics in ancient China. Finally, I issue a rallying cry for an entangled and transnational conceptual history. Such an approach is likely to foreground interlingual situations where conceptual indecisiveness is the rule rather than the exception.

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Gregor Feindt and Ralph Weber

Paweł Rojek, Semiotyka Solidarnos ´ci: Analiza dyskursów PZPR i NSZZ Solidarnos ´c´ w 1981 roku [Semiotics of Solidarity: Discourse Analysis of the Polish United Workers Party and the Independent Self-Governing Trade Union Solidarity 1981] (Krakow: Nomos, 2009), 264 pp.

Elz˙bieta Ciz˙ewska, Filozofi a publiczna Solidarnos ´ci: 1980–1981 z perspektywy republikan´skiej tradycji politycznej [The Public Philosophy of Solidarity: 1980–1981 from the Perspective of Republican Political Tradition] (Warsaw: Narodowe Centrum Kultury, 2010), 379 pp.

Krzysztof Brzechczyn, O ewolucji solidarnos ´ciowej w mys ´li społeczno-politycznej w latach 1980–1981: Studium z filozofi i społecznej [The Evolution of Solidarity in Social-Political Thought 1980–1981: A Study in Social Philosophy], (Poznan´: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Wydziału Nauk Społecznych Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicz, 2013), 192 pp.

Hagen Schulz-Forberg, ed., A Global Conceptual History of Asia, 1860–1940 (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2014), 205 pp.