Publication details [#7334]

Lin, Min. 2001. Certainty as a Social Metaphor: The Social and Historical Production of Certainty in China and the West. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood. 304 pp.
Publication type
Book – monograph
Publication language


This volume combines philosophy, the social theory of knowledge, and historical analysis to present a comprehensive study of the idea of certainty as defined in the Western and Chinese intellectual traditions. Philosophical ideas such as certainty are the products of deeply layered socio-historical constructions. The author shows how the highly abstract idea of certainty in philosophical discourse is connected to the concrete social process from which the meaning of certainty is derived. Three different versions of certainty - in modern Western thought, in German Idealism, and in traditional Chinese philosophy - are examined in the context of a historical-comparative study of Western and Chinese social processes. (Publisher Book Description)