"Special Issue on Gonsung Long “White Horse Is Not Horse” (Baima Fei Ma)"." 2007. Journal of Chinese
Philosophy no. 34.
Contents: Cheng Chung-Ying: Preface 463; Bo Mou: Introduction: Methodological Notes 465; Chad Hansen: Prolegomena to Future Solutions to
"White Horse Is Not Horse" 473; Bo Mou: A Double-Reference Account: Gongsun Long's "White-Horse-Not-Horse" Thesis 493; Yiu-Ming Fung:
A Logical Perspective on "Discourse on White-Horse 515; Cheng Chung-Ying: Reinterpreting Gongsun Longzi and Critical Comments on Other Interpretations
"The History of Logic in China." 2011. Studies in Logic no. 4.
Contents: Liu Fenrong, Jeremy Seligman, Johan van Benthem: The History of Logic in China: An introduction 1; Christoph Harbsmeier: A Reading
of the Guōdiàn 郭店 Manuscript Yǔcóng 語叢 1 as a Masterpiece of Early Chinese Analytic Philosophy and Conceptual Analysis 3; Fenrong Liu, Limin Xie, Johan van
Benthem: Models of Reasoning in Ancient China 57; Thierry Lucas: Basic Concepts of Mohist Logic 82; Karel L. van der Leeuw: Aristotelian and Mohist Conceptions
of Logic and Language 109; Wujin Yang: Valid Reasoning in Ancient China from the Perspective of Modern Logic 115; Jincheng Zhai: A New Interpretation of
Reasoning Patterns in Mohist Logic 126; Five Questions on the History of Chinese Logic: a First Glimpse 145-152.
"Neo-Moist or later Moist logic." 2012. Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 39.
Contents: Chung‐Ying Cheng: Preface: Chinese Logic as Threefold: Reference, Meaning and Use 325; Yiu-Ming Fung: Introduction: Language and
Logic in Later Moism 327; Yiu-Ming Fung: A Logical Perspective on the Parallelism in Later Moism 333; Chris Fraser: Truth in Moist Dialectics 351; Dan Robins:
Names, Cranes, and the Later Moists 369; Thierry Lucas: Definitions in the Upper Part of the Moist Canons 386; Jinmei Yuan: Analogical Propositions in Moists
Texts 404; Chaehyun Chong: Xunzi's Sanhuo (Three Types of Cognitive Delusions) 424; Chien‐Hsing Ho: One Name, Infinite Meanings: Jizang's Thought on Meaning
and Reference 436-452.
Alt, Wayne E. 1991. "Logic and Language in the Chuang Tzu." Asian Philosophy: An International Journal of the Philosophical
Traditions of the East no. 1:61-76.
"It is difficult to deny that there are passages in Chuang Tzu that seem to suggest mystical themes. Yet it cannot be denied
that many, if not most, of the passages from this work, have nothing to do with mysticism. By attending to some of these passages, I will argue for an
alternative interpretation of Chuang Tzu. My alternative runs contrary to the predominant mystical interpretation. Instead of discussing
transcendental unities, it emphasises the efforts of thoughtful men to understand the ways of the world in which they live, and to enrich their daily lives by
perfecting the practice of the arts.
One of Chuang Tzu's major concerns was to unravel and expose the fallacies of the learned, especially those whose conclusions threatened to
undermine principles requisite for the practice of the arts. To discredit the theories of men like Hui Tzu required that Chuang Tzu develop remarkably
sophisticated methods of reasoning and analysis.
As such, he has frequently been misunderstood, even by twentieth century commentators, as drawing conclusions which refer to a dimension that
transcends ordinary human understanding. Indeed, since his antagonists sometimes disregarded the constraints of normal discourse and challenged fundamental
principles of reason and good sense, Chuang Tzu's philosophical critiques themselves sometimes appear to transcend these limits. A. C. Graham has even argued
that Chuang Tzu "abandoned reason" and "rejected logic"." (pp. 62-63)
Andrš, Dušan. 1998. "Gongsun Long's Baima lun: a Semiotic Argument." Tamkang Review no. 26:47-75.
Abstract: "The article offers re-reading of one of the most prominent writings on logic in ancient China notorious for its ambiguous and
evasive nature - Gongsun Long's Baima Jun - from the logical semantics and linguistic semiotics point of view. Previous interpretations of Baima
Jun, which attributed to its alleged author either bringing in of abstract universals or introducing of nominalistic speculations into the philosophical
debate of the day, serve as a point of departure for the interpretative theory based on re-examination of the two debating points in the contemporary
philosophical discussion-Doctrine of Rectification of Names and Debate of Name and Substance. Present rereading suggests that Gongsun Long's dialogue
effectively challenges the Neo-Mohists' non-problematic assessment of conditions needed for a successful logical discourse by stressing the key importance of a
semiotic aspect of the logical reasoning.
Moreover, the possibility of restating Gongsun Long's arguments in the wording of Saussurean semiotics indicates the conceivability of
Baima Jun's interpretation as an implicit theory of linguistic signs."
Bao, Zhiming. 1987. "Abstraction, Ming-Shi, and Problems of Translation." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no.
"This paper is divided into four interrelated sections. First, I shall discuss the thesis that Chinese cannot express abstraction. This
I shall refer to as the no-abstraction thesis. I will argue that this no-abstraction thesis is misconceived, and stems from a naive assumption that there is a
one-to-one correspondence between the structure of language and the structure of thought, whence comes the belief that the expression of abstract entities must
depend on certain grammatical devices. A lack of such devices has been taken as evidence for a nominalistic language and a philosophy that has no abstract
entities. This assumption also seems to presuppose that for each linguistic sign, redness for example, there exists some entity such that the sign
stands in the relation of naming to that entity.
Related to the no-abstraction thesis is the contention that Chinese philosophy, especially pre-Han, is nominalistic. Gongsun Long's thought,
for example, entertains no abstract entities. And the Neo-moists do not talk about any intermediary between ming and shi commonly translated
as 'name' and 'object', respectively. Some attention will be paid to this translation, to see whether it contributes to labeling Neo-Moist semantics as
nominalistic. Throughout the paper, I will analyse briefly some classical texts, mainly Pai ma lun, the white horse dialogue of Gong sun Long (in Ill)
and the Neo-Moist Canons (in IV). If we carefully analyse a few grammatical points in the Gongsun Long text, which have hitherto been overlooked, we will
arrive at an interpretation which calls for abstract entities. As for the Canons, it will be argued, speculative though the argument may be, that a Fregean
interpretation of Neo-Moist semantics is, with some qualification, also consistent with the text." (pp. 419-420, a note omitted)
———. 1990. "Language and World View in Ancient China." Philosophy East and West no. 40:195-219.
"My main objective in this article is to demonstrate that a common conception of language, which I will call the classical conception of
language, serves as a thread which runs across the various theories of language advanced by these thinkers. The classical conception of language does not view
language as a mere descriptive tool that is a separate entity independent of the world which it describes. Rather, language and the world are inseparably bound
Language is able to describe the world by virtue of an isomorphic fit between them. By "isomorphic" or "isomorphic fit" I
mean this: A is isomorphic with B if, for each event Ei which affects A, there is a corresponding event Ej which affects B, and
Ei and Ej may, but need not, be the same event.(1) As anillustration, let us consider a hypothetical belief that the anger of heavenly
spirits may have as its consequence the fall of a particular kingdom. An event Ei in heaven (the spirits getting angry) corresponds to an event
Ej in human society (the fall of the kingdom). Within that belief system, heavenly affairs (among them the anger of the spirits) and human affairs
(among them the fall of the kingdom) have an isomorphic fit." (p. 195)
(1) The definition of "isomorphic fit" is rather strong, since to show that two systems are isomorphic one must show that for each
event which affects one system there is a corresponding event which affects the other system. This involves the notion of sets of all events, which is
untenable within the context of our inquiry. In other words, it may be impossible to construct a set of all events or other entities relevant to the exposition
of the relationship between language and the world. The intuition behind the definition is clear. It strikes home the property of interdependence between
language and the world in the conception of language in ancient China.
Beaney, Michael. 2021. "Swimming Happily in Chinese Logic." Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society no. 121:355-379.
"The Zhuangzi is the richest and most intellectually challenging of all the texts of ancient Chinese philosophy, and it is full
of stories which have been interpreted in a wide variety of ways over the subsequent two millennia. It is one of the founding texts of Daoism, but it is also
central to the entire landscape of ancient Chinese thought. In this paper I want to explore some of the logical features of this landscape by focusing on the
happy fish dialogue and addressing what we can call the problem of Chinese logic. Are there distinctive forms of argumentation and analysis in ancient Chinese
thinking and/or distinctive logical conceptions and theories? Or can Chinese reasoning be analysed and entirely explained by modern forms of logic, such as
propositional logic and quantificational theory? What implications does this have for how we interpret historical texts?
In what follows, I will first say more about the problem of Chinese logic (§ii) before introducing the Zhuangzi and the happy fish
dialogue (§iii). I will then elucidate the key concepts involved in this dialogue (§iv) and discuss selected interpretations of it (§v). I conclude by
returning to the Chinese logic dialogue, which frames my analysis of the happy fish dialogue, in drawing out the hermeneutic implications (§vi)." (pp.
Benesch, Walter. 1991. "The Place of Chinese Logics in Comparative Logics: Chinese Logics Revisited." Journal of Chinese
Philosophy no. 18:309-331.
"It was my intt!rest as a philosopher in the assumptions and origins of logics, and then my concern as a teacher in developing a
cross-cultural approach that first led me into comparative logics.· I have since come to realize that the understanding of any particular logic must involve
the ability to view that logic from the questions, problems and perspectives of other systems. Thus my paper represents both my experiences and my
recommendations as an educator "in the field of logics. I shall offer four theses for consideration." (p. 309)
"My fourth thesis is that there is indeed a "Chinese logic," and that it is not only possible to clearly identify it, but it
can and will prove an indispensible part of the thinking techniques and methodologies that we use to explore ourselves and the world." (p. 319)
"Chinese logics are inferential vehicles for accommodating different and changing aspects of human thought and experience. Meaning is a
perspective upon change and process. Being arises from non-being through change. Aspect logic presupposes a synthesis of being and non-being, the changing
———. 1993. "The Euclidean Egg (1), the Three Legged Chinese Chicken (2)." Journal of Chinese philosophy no.
“Contextual vs. Formal Approaches to Reason and Logics”
An Approach to Comparative Philosophy & Logics.
"In the spirit of the three-legged Chinese chicken and the Euclidean egg, I will begin my paper with the suggestion that there are at
least three positions on the question as to which came first, the chicken or the egg. . . ?
The first assumes the chicken. Thls is the Aristotelean view that any actual entity is the fulfilment of a potential which is determined and
defined by a prior actuality.
The second assumes the egg. This reflects a contemporary view in biology and genetics.
The third assumes the question itself must come first for its very asking presupposes sets of temporal, spatial, and linguistic
interpretations, distinctions and contexts - none of which either is or isn’t a chicken or an egg."
"I believe this third position reflects a fundamental difference in the locus of the thinker in the world about which she/he thinks. It
is sharedin common by a number of philosophers East/West, but since the three legged chicken is a specifically Chinese paradox, I should like to explore it
with a number of Chinese philosophers as I understand them. I also believe this position is the essence of what I would call Chinese
aspect/perspective logic. It is the exploration of this third position on the chicken/egg uestion and its contrast with the presuppositions of both
the chicken and the egg schools in philosophy and science that is the substance of my paper, an argument for and a demonstration of a comparative approach to
philosophy and logic." (pp. 109-110)
(1) “A Point is that which denotes position, without possessing any magnitude.” (Euclid: Elements, Bk. I, Definitions; Law, Henry:
The Elements of Euclid, John Weale, London, 1853, p. 2),
(2) “A fowl has three legs” (Paradox of app. 4th Cent. B.C.; Hu Shih: The Development of the Logical Method in Ancient China,
Oriental Book Co., Shanghai, 1928, p. 118).
"As to the paradoxes: ‘ A fowl has three legs ' ; and 'A brown horse and dark ox make three,’ the Kung-sun Lung-tzu (ch. 4)
says : “ The speaking about the leg of a fowl is one. Its number of legs is two. Two and one make three. The speaking about the leg of an ox and ram is one.
The number of their legs is four. Four and one make five ” (p. 75)." Fung Yu-Lan, A History of Chinese Philosophy, Vol. 1, Princeton: Princeton
University Press 1952, p. 217,
Benesch, Walter, and Wilner, Eduardo. 2002. "Continuum Logic: A Chinese contribution to knowledge and understanding in philosophy and
science." Journal of Chinese Philosophy:471-494.
"In the following analysis, we shall offer two propositions for consideration:
1. There is a continuum logic implicit in traditional Chinese philosophy.
2. This continuum logic has particular relevance for the pursuit of knowledge and understanding in philosophy and the sciences in
contemporary “participant/spectator” views of the universe.
We have divided our discussion of the above propositions into three sections: The first considers contemporary philosophical perspectives in
the sciences, especially biology; the second presents various approaches to logics, and proposes viewing logics and consciousness as related aspects of a mind
and nature continuum; the third offers an exposition of Chinese continuum logic and its applications in the acquisition of knowledge and understanding."
Benická, Jana, and Hubina, Miloš. 2013. "Gongsun Long— A Somehow Aristotelian Reading." In Talking Literature: Essays on
Chinese and Biblical Writings and Their Interaction, edited by Findeisen, Raoul David and Slobodnik, Martin, 21-31. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.
"Regarding the previous treatment of the Discourse on the White Horse (especially its key sentence—bai ma fei ma ‘a white horse is not a
horse’), two basic interpretative approaches have been assumed so far: abstract and nominalistic." (p. 12)
"Our ‘Aristotelian’ reading of the text, based on our own translation, is an attempt to suggest an interpretation under which the text,
taken as a whole, makes sense and is logically consistent, not a historical reconstruction of the original intentions of the author. We argue that the logical
consistency of the text is perfectly maintained if we read it as an example of the standard problem of predication, a central issue with ontological relevance
for Aristotle. It can be described as a pondering over what do we do when we say that something is something (else)? And how the two things that in sentence
assume places of subject and predicate exist in the world? Obviously, in an assertive statements we (1) strip the subject of the quality we are to ascribe to
it (otherwise it would be indistinguishable from the attribute) and we set it apart as a subject of predication only to (2) claim, in the assertion, that the
attribute actually belongs to it or is identical with it. This process of separating the subject and attribute for the very sake of claiming their connection
invokes the question of the status of the ‘disjoined’ abstract entities (substance–attribute, subject–predicate) and the relation between them. Since there is
no explicit denial of substance or essence(9)
in the text and, contrary to it, the Master and Disciple alike clearly differentiate between essential and accidental qualities, we feel free
to presuppose that substance-attribute (container—content) structure the basic cognitive structure determining not only Aristotelian or ‘Western’ but human
thinking about the world is not denied here. No theoretically costly Buddhist-like attack on substance is apparent. Hence no ‘non-Western’ philosophical
footing." (pp. 13-14)
(9) Substance as a carrier of all qualities and essence as a ‘core’ determining ‘what thing really is’.
Bloom, Alfred H. 1981. The Linguistic Shaping of Thought: A Study in the Impact of Language on Thinking in China and the West.
Hillsdale: Laurence Erlbauim Associates.
"The question of whether the language we speak may shape the way we think rarely fails to excite the imagination of anyone who considers
it for the first time and rarely fails to hold, from that point on, at least a lingering fascination and intuitive appeal. When bilingual speakers of two
linguistically unrelated languages are asked whether they think they think differently when using each of their languages, they almost invariably answer
"yes." When English speakers, who have extensive experience with monolingual speakers of non-Indo-European languages, are asked whether it is their
impression that speakers of the non-Indo-European languages think differently from the way they themselves think, as a result of language, they likewise just
about invariably answer "yes." When translators of works drawn from literary traditions of unrelated languages are asked whether there is a
language/thought barrier to overcome in translation, they usually find it hard to surpress a smile at so "naive" a question. Yet when psychologists
are asked whether they think languages shape thought, they are as likely as not to say "no." When linguists are asked whether they think languages
shape thought, they are as likely as not to respond that the question is not one with which the discipline of linguistics should concern itself; and when the
work of the dominant empirical traditions of psychology, philosophy, and linguistics for the past fifty years is scanned for treatments of the question of
whether or not languages shape thought, it quickly becomes evident that within these traditions that question, for one reason or another, never seemed to be a
legitimate one or a relevant one to ask." (pp. 1-2)
Bodde, Derek. 1939. "Types of Chinese Categorical Thinking." Journal of the American Oriental Society no. 59:200-219.
"One of the criticisms levelled by westerners against Chinese philosophy is that it has failed to develop a system of logic. Like most
sweeping criticisms, this is not absolutely true, for during the fourth and third centuries B. C., the followers of the Mohist school do appear to have
experimented with methods of thinking in many ways comparable to our western logic.' The statement remains true, however, to the extent that this school did
not long survive, and that it failed to leave a lasting impression on Chinese thought." (p. 200)
"The consequence of this very fundamental Chinese feeling for order and harmony is the extraordinary development, both in speech and in
literature, of what may be called numerical categories.
Under the numeral three, for example, there are such categories as the Three Rituals, Three Sacrificial Animals, Three Auspicious Stars,
etc.; under four, the Four Seas, Four Great Rivers, Four Cardinal Points, etc.; under five, the Five Punishments, Five Forms of Taxation, Five Supernatural
Creatures, etc.; and so on up to the Ten Thousand Things,(5) which is a generic term signifying all things in the universe.(6)
Among these numerical categories, those in five and nine are the most important." (p. 201)
(1) See Fung Yu-lan, A History of Chinese Philosophy (Peiping, 1937), English translation by Derk Bodde, vol. 1, ch. 11.
(5) Wan wu.
(6) For an extended list of 319 such categories, see W. F. Mayers, The Chinese Reader's Manual (Shanghai reprint of 1924), part
Boltz, William G. 2000. "Logic, Language, and Grammar in Early China." The Journal of the American Oriental Society no.
Reviewed work: Science and Civilisation in China, Volume 7, Part 1: Language and Logic in Traditional China by Christoph
Abstract: "In examining what he calls the "logical features" and "logical concepts" of the Classical Chinese
language Christoph Harbsmeier has shown in this volume of Science and Civilisation in China that "logic is logic" and that, like
mathematics, physics, and chemistry, for example, logic in China is no different from logic in the West in its primary, fundamental nature. Whatever
differences there may appear to be are secondary matters of how logical propositions are expressed in the language and of the accidental fact of the particular
concerns of extant texts. An analysis of the logical features of Classical Chinese becomes a useful and revealing part of a comparative study of grammar in
Classical Chinese and in the principal Western classical languages, Greek and Latin, and in English. Grammars may differ; the meanings of words and of
syntactic constructions may differ, and as a consequence logical propositions may appear to be formulated in different ways in Chinese and English (or other
Western languages), but the underlying premises and conclusions of logical reasoning are language independent, and the logical features of the Classical
Chinese language reflect linguistic universals."
Bosley, Richard. 2005. "The Emergence of Concepts of a Sentence in Ancient Greek and in Ancient Chinese Philosophy." Journal of
Chinese Philosophy no. 24:209-229.
"The emergence of an explicit concept of a sentence in a developing philosophical tradition is of considerable significance. The concept
is necessary for developments in logic and metaphysics. For without the
concept it is impossible to pursue an inquiry into logical inference and various fallacies and sophistries. The point of this paper is to
discuss the two developments as they emerge in the writings of Plato and Aristotle, in the West, and in the East, in the fragments of the Later Mohists. There
are interesting differences which may reflect different concerns and assumptions of the two philosophical traditions. It will also be suggested just how
differences between Classical Chinese and Classical Greek influence philosophical concerns.
A.C. Graham(2) has helped us understand the emergence of a notion of a sentence in ancient Chinese philosophy. Before considering Graham's
statement of the difficulty which ancient Chinese thinkers must have had in coming to articulate a notion of the sentence, let us briefly consider the
situations which ancient thinkers were in as they began to enrich philosophical consciousness." (p. 209)
(2) The source of my quotations from and my summaries of Graham's work is Later Mohist Logic Ethics and Science.
Brons, Lajos L. 2016. "Recognizing "Truth" in Chinese Philosophy." Logos and Episteme no. 7:273-286.
Abstract: "The debate about truth in Chinese philosophy raises the methodological question How to recognize ‘truth’ in some non-Western
tradition of thought? In case of Chinese philosophy it is commonly assumed that the dispute concerns a single question, but a distinction needs to be made
between the property of truth, the concept of TRUTH, and the word ·truth·. The property of truth is what makes something true; the concept of
TRUTH is our understanding of truth; and ·truth· is the word we use to express that understanding. Almost all human beings over the age of 2 have the
concept of TRUTH, and therefore, the question whether some tradition has the concept of TRUTH is moot, but that doesn’t imply that every language has a
(single) word for ·truth·. Furthermore, recognizing ·truth· is complicated by the conceptual neighbors of TRUTH. What distinguishes ·truth· from its neighbors
is disquotationality. Theories of truth similarly need to be distinguished from theories about adjacent notions. If a theory is more plausibly
interpreted as a theory of justification, then it is not a theory of truth."
Butzenberger, Klaus. 1993. "Some General Remarks on Negation and Paradox in Chinese Logic." Journal of Chinese Philosophy
"In different periods of Chinese philosophy, statements may be encountered that have traditionally been considered paradoxical, their
impact on research into Chinese logic having been quite stimulating" (p 313, a note omitted)
"Let us conclude our remarks with focusing on the Chinese logicians’ and philosophers’ reactions towards paradoxical propositions. As we
have seen, in older Chinese logic and linguistics, a certain system of metatheoretical assumptions concerning linguistic analysis was presupposed.
Incidentally, this system was proven inconsistent by the dialecticians who were able to deduce an NFI [Normal Form of an Invariance proposition] together with
its negation. Thus, the system became unreliable and necessitated further clarification of principles stated but implicitly. Hsün Tzu seems to have been the
first to accurately describe such an evolution towards explicit formulation and clarification.
In their heptapartite distinction of arguments referred to above, the Mohists were the first to create a new system of linguistic analysis
accounting for the problems forwarded by the dialecticians. So, paradoxical propositions reinforce the development and improval of systems.
This attitude towards paradoxes might be called a negative one: If, in a system, a paradoxical proposition emerges, the system has to be
altered to such an extent that the paradoxical proposition cannot be deduced any more. This alteration is considered an improval of the system.
This is, however, not the only attitude concerning paradoxical propositions.
As it is well known, some ramifications of Taoism, and, quite similarly, Buddhism, subscribe to the point of view that no possible system at
all is adequate for describing reality. Systems, on the other hand, are but based on artificially engendered distinctions and divisions of reality which do not
correspond to anything real. Hence, there can be no final system that is adequate in any case, and any confidence in having found such a system is but a
tremendous error. According to this point of view, logic must be able to metatheoretically cope with the necessary transitions from one system to another
without ever being confined to one single and fixed system. As a formal device for ad infinitum reinforcing such transitions, paradoxical propositions are
used. In exchange, different types of negation have to be used in order to prevent this type of logic from becoming inconsistent." (pp. 336-337)
Cai, Zong-qi. 2011. "The Early Philosophical Discourse on Language and Reality and Lu Ji’s and Liu Xie’s Theories of Literary
Creation." Frontiers of Literary Studies in China no. 5:477-510.
Abstract: "This paper is an attempt to investigate how Lu Ji and Liu Xie develop their theories of literary creation on the foundation
of the early philosophical discourse on language and reality. The first part of the paper examines various key terms, concepts, and paradigms developed in the
The second part pursues a close reading of Lu’s and Liu’s texts to demonstrate how ingeniously they adapt and integrate those terms,
concepts, and paradigms to accomplish two important tasks: to establish a broad framework for conceptualizing literary creation and to differentiate the
complex mental and linguistic endeavors at different stages of the creative process. The paper ends with some general reflections on the impact of the two
essays on the subsequent development of Chinese literary and aesthetic thoughts."
Cao, Feng. 2008. "A return to intellectual history: A new approach to pre-Qin discourse on name." Frontiers of Philosophy in
China no. 3:213-228.
Abstract: "Discussions of name (ming) during the pre-Qin and Qin-Han period of Chinese history were very active. The concept
ming at that time can be divided into two categories, one is the ethical-political meaning of the term and the other is the linguistic-logical
understanding. The former far exceeds the latter in terms of overall influence on the development of Chinese intellectual history.
But it is the latter that has received the most attention in the 20th century, due to the influence of Western logic. This has led to the
result of a bias in the contemporary studies of ming. Changing course by returning to the correct path of intellectual history can providing an
objective and thorough ordering of the pre-Qin discourse on ming."
Ch'ien, Edward T. 1984. "The Conception of Language and the Use of Paradox in Buddhism and Taoism." Journal of Chinese
Philosophy no. 11:375-399.
"Both the Buddhists and the Taoists advocate a form of linguistic skepticism, according to which the ultimate reality is mute in the
sense of being not only prescriptive but also unsayable." (p. 375)
"To be sure, neither the Buddhists nor the Taoists did away with language entirely. To say that the ultimate reality is unsayable is
already a form of saying. In fact, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu and Virnalakirti all said a good deal more than that. In doing so, however, they were not necessarily
contradicting themselves, for, as will be shown in the following, the mode of language that they each used and affirmed not only is consistent with but
actually articulates their linguistically skeptical belief that the ultimate reality is ineffable." (p. 376)
Chan, Chi-ching. 1998. "The Rhetorical and the Grammatical in Early Chinese Logic." Tamkang Review no. 28:31-45.
Abstract: "Early Chinese logic often seems puzzling because it is deeply rooted in an interplay of rhetoric and grammar. As logic in
ancient China was more of persuading kings and dukes than of reasoning in epistemological terms, catching rhetoric seemed to be a short cut to instant fame.
The elliptical Chinese syntax and semantic shift in word play often found in the logical texts underlie the perplexity. One of the logicians' strategies is to
employ a mutual interference of, in Jakobsonian terms, the metaphorical and metonymical axes, stopping the operation of each other to create bizarre
statements. Another strategy is what Paul de Man would call the rhetoricization of grammar and the grammatization of rhetoric, which leaves the reader dangling
between a literal and figural reading of the logical texts. New lights should be shed on early Chinese logic if one tries to look at it not in strictly
logical, but in rhetorical and grammatical, terms."
Chang, Chih-wei. 1998. "The Road Not Taken: The Convergence/Divergence of Logic and Rhetoric in the Mohist "Xiaoqu"."
Tamkang Review no. 28:77-94.
Abstract: "Modern scholarship on Mozi has established an interpretative tradition of equating Mobian with logic. The
present study takes issue with this tradition, criticizing its failure to locate the tension between logic and rhetoric in the Mohist art of disputation.
Indeed, when modern scholars draw a parallel between the Mohist practice of debate and Western logic, they generally do not take into account
the tension between logic and rhetoric, either in the West or in Mobian. Overlooking this tension, Hu Shi thus reads the "Xiaoqu" chapter in
Mozi as a treatise on logic.
Drawing upon the history of logic and rhetoric's development in the West, the present paper attempts to reveal Hu's bias in emphasizing the
elements of logic in his explication of "Xiaoqu." To counterbalance Hu's reading of "Xiaoqu" in logical terms, this paper further
highlights the rhetorical function of pi, mou, yuan, tui, four strategies of argument discussed in "Xiaoqu." Pi, mou, yuan, tui are
actually four methods of analogy that take advantage of superficial resemblance to influence one's judgment of the argument's logical validity. Exploring the
convergence and divergence of logic and rhetoric in the Mohist "Xiaoqu," it is hoped that we can arrive at a better understanding of
Chang, Han-liang. 1998. "Controversy over Language: Towards Pre-Qin Semiotics." Tamkang Review no. 28:1-22.
Abstract: "Semiotic thinking in general can be born when people become aware of the discrepancy and tension among different uses of
language. This awareness and its expression are often enacted dramatically in the controversy of discourse.
The discursive polemics in Pre-Qin China centers around the contention of logic and rhetoric, quite similar to the fortune of the trivium in
the medieval West.
Traditionally known as the Great Debate on Name and Substance, the controversy should be understood as a phenomenon of language
Those who participate in the Debate fail to communicate with one another because there is a discrepancy between encoding and decoding. Their
polemics helps to create a textual space that includes the hidden agenda of semiotics."
———. 2003. "The Paradox of Learning and the Elenchos: Plato’s Meno, Augustine’s De Magistro, and Gongsunlong’s
Jianbailun." In Comparative Literature in the Cross-cultural Context, edited by Yue, Dalyun and Qian, Linsen, 185-201. Nanjing: Yilin
"Under the assumption that the elenchos is a universal strategy of argumentation, this paper proposes to study three ancient dialogues,
two in Western classical antiquity, one in Pre-Qin China. Of the three texts, Plato's Meno and Augustine's De Magistro are already separated
by a temporal gap of almost eight hundred years, but they can be united by the common theme of paradox of teaching/learning and the dialogic structure in which
disputation is performed. As to Gongsunlong's Dialogue on Hardness and Whiteness (hereinafter referred to as Jianbai), it can be linked
mysteriously to the two Western texts from both an epistemological and a pragmatic point of view." (p. 185)
———. 2007. "Persuasion in Pre-Quin China. The Great Debate Revisited." In Traditions of Controversy, edited by Dascal,
Marcelo and Chang, Han-Liang, 85-100. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
"This essay attempts to present a major controversy in classical Chinese intellectual history, commonly called the Great Debate on
ming (name) and shi (substance), and to interpret that debate in the light of the contention between logic and rhetoric, similar to the one
that has characterized Western philosophy since Plato’s early dialogue The Gorgias. The English rendition of the “Great Debate”, being at once
accurate but imperfect, is so popular that its source is hardly traceable. The added qualification of “great” suggests the importance of the issue, but the
word debate unfortunately fails to transmit the double denotation of “differentiation” and “debate”, imposed on the homophone by modern usage.(1) Thanks to
contemporary scholars like Chmielewski (1962–1969), Graham (1989), Defoort (1997), Chang [Han-liangh] (1998, 2003), Lu (1998), Reding (2004), Cui (2004), we
have become aware of the contention of logic and rhetoric and, to a lesser extent, the relation between logic and grammar suggested by these ancient
texts." (p. 85)
(1) The Chinese word for bian in its original form is double denotative; it means at once debate and distinction, but two different
words (graphic forms or graphemic signifiers) are used for the two senses (signifieds) in modern Chinese. However, the semantic differentiation and
identification denoted by the original form are important to our understanding of the complex relationship between semantics and pragmatics, i.e., clarifying
nuances of meaning and engaging in debate.
(2) Whilst Aristotle begins his The Art of Rhetoric with the statement “Rhetoric is the counterpart of dialectic” ([The Art of
Rhetoric] 1991: 66), he subsumes the enthymeme or “rhetorical demonstration” under dialectic and stresses its difference from “logical syllogisms” (68,
Cui, Q. 2004. Mojia luoji yu yalishiduode luoji bijiao yanjiu (Comparative Research on Mohist and Aristotelian Logic). Beijing:
[For the other references see this bibliography]
Chao, Yuen Ren. 1946. "The Logical Structure of Chinese Words." Language no. 22:4-13.
Presidential address, read at the regional meeting of the Linguistic Society of America in New York, December 31, 1945.
Reprinted in: Yuen Ren Chao, Aspects of Chinese Sociolinguistics, Essays selected and introduced by Anwar S. Dil, Stanford: Stanford
University Press, 1976, pp. 260-274.
"At a previous meeting of this society, I read a paper on Word Conceptions in Chinese. There I dealt chiefly with the size-of-unit
problem. I recognized two word-like units in Chinese. One is the monosyllable, which is almost always a morpheme.(2) It is not always a free form, but, partly
because it is written with one character, it is very much talked about. It occupies the same social position of being the common linguistic small change of
everyday life and is therefore called a 'word' by most of those who speak in English on Chinese.(3) The Chinese name for this is
tz'ŭ4. On the other hand, there is the free form consisting of one, two, or more syllables, which may enter into what we should
call syntactical relations with other similar units. Linguistically, this would be much more like what we call a word in other languages than the monosyllable.
But it has no everyday name in Chinese,(4) because it is not talked about every day.
In the present paper, I propose to consider the other aspect of the problem, the identity-of-unit problem: What constitutes one and the same
word? Since a large part of this discussion will consist of tertiary statements concerning secondary statements about language, and the monosyllabic
tz'ŭ4 will play a major part in such secondary statements, we shall take the tz'ŭ4 as our unit of reference,
rather than the syntactical word. Any one who does not accept this use of the word 'word' as applied to Chinese may, wherever the word 'word' occurs, simply
substitute the word tz'ŭ4, or rather thetz'ŭ4 'tz'ŭ4', and will
still be able to follow the discussion." (p. 4)
(2) mes, an ancient Chinese morpheme with an initial consonant cluster became a dissyllabic morpheme through the appearance of an extra vowel
between the parts of the cluster. But the separate syllables thus resulting usually acquired the status of separate morphemes, with separate meanings. Seec P.
A. Boodberg, Some proleptical remarks on the evolution of Archaic Chinese, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 2.329-72, esp. 336 ff.
3 Such as Sinologists, missionaries, and Chinese students studying abroad.
4 The learned term for it is tz'ŭ2 not related etymologically to tz'ŭ4).
———. 1955. "Notes on Chinese Grammar and Logic." Philosophy East and West no. 5:31-41.
Reprinted in: Yuen Ren Chao, Aspects of Chinese Sociolinguistics, Essays selected and introduced by Anwar S. Dil, Stanford: Stanford
University Press, 1976, pp. 237-249.
"This paper is not concerned with Chinese logic as a part of technical Chinese philosophy, but, rather, with the ways in which some
elementary logical notions find expression in the Chinese language. Therefore, I shall not touch upon the numerous paradoxes found in the Canon of the Way
and Virtue (Tao-tê Ching) of Lao Tzŭ, or such questions as to whether the whiteness of a white horse is the same as the whiteness of white snow,
as raised by Mencius,(2) or the series of problems with which the school of Mo Tzŭ was much concerned. On the contrary, I shall consider such universal logical
constants - apparently universal constants for all human thought-as "and," "or," "all," "if ... then," "not,"
etc., and ask what forms, especially grammatical forms, they take in Chinese thought and speech. To put it in another way: instead of negation, I shall
consider "not"; instead of implication, I shall consider "if ... then"; instead of existence, I shall consider "there is." In
short, instead of metalogic and Chinese grammatics, I am primarily concerned here with logical notions and grammatical forms. Terms like foouding,(3)
"negation"; minqtyi, "proposition"; chyantyi, "premise"; tueiluenn, "infer (ence)"; etc.,
are not very well known to many Chinese - not even to those who read and write. On the other hand, all Chinese, whether literate or illiterate, will argue and
reason in prose without realizing that they have been doing so all their lives." (p. 31)
———. 1959. "How Chinese Logic Operates." Anthropological Linguistics:1-8.
Reprinted in: Yuen Ren Chao, Aspects of Chinese Sociolinguistics, Essays selected and introduced by Anwar S. Dil, Stanford: Stanford
University Press 1976, pp. 250-259.
"Like the logic of other cultures, Chinese logic operates by ways of affirmation and negation, particular and universal assertion,
categorical conclusion and hypothetical implication, etc., but unlike the logic of other cultures, Chinese logic must of course operate with the degree of
freedom that is possible within the operational possibilities of the Chinese language itself. Thus, while aiming at finding out how Chinese logic operates, we
shall probably end up with finding out how logic operates in Chinese. The tool with which, or, what amounts to the same thing, the form in which, Chinese logic
operates is the Chinese language. More specifically, the chief operative elements in Chinese are the use of words, especially functional words, word order and
hierarchical structure and suprasegmental elements. Since all such elements enter also into non-logical functions of the Chinese language, such as influencing
action, expressing and producihg feeling, presenting linguistic objects of beauty, it follows that there is no element of the language which is exclusively
concerned with logical operations." (p. 1)
Chen, Bo. 2006. "The debate on the yan-yi relation in Chinese philosophy: reconstruction and comments." Frontiers of Philosophy
in China no. 1:539-560.
Abstract: "The debate on the yan-yi relation was carried out by Chinese philosophers collectively, and the principles and methods in the
debate still belong to a living tradition of Chinese philosophy. From Yijing (Book of Changes), Lunyu (Analects), Laozi and Zhuangzi to Wang
Bi, "yi" which cannot be expressed fully by yan (language), is not only "idea" or "meaning" in the human mind, but is
also some kind of ontological existence, which is beyond yan and emblematic symbols, and unspeakable. Thus, the debate on the yan-yi relation
refers firstly to metaphysics, secondly to moral philosophy, and then to epistemology and philosophy of language. Guided by this view, this paper recalls the
source of the debate on the yan-yi relation to Yijing and Lunyu, distinguishes four meanings of "yi" in Chinese
philosophy, and reconstructs three arguments. These arguments are the "yan cannot express yi fully" argument, "forget
yan once you get yi" argument, and ''yan can express yi fully" argument. Finally, this paper exposes and comments
on those principles, methods and the general tendency shown in the debate from the following five aspects: starting point, value-preference, methodology, texts
(papers and books), and influences."
———. 2014. "Six Groups of Paradoxes in Ancient China: From the Perspective of Comparative Philosophy." Asian Philosophy
Abstract: "This paper divides the sophisms and paradoxes put forth by Chinese thinkers of the pre-Qin period of China (before 221 BCE)
into six groups: paradoxes of motion and infinity, paradoxes of class membership, semantic paradoxes, epistemic paradoxes, paradoxes of relativization, other
logical contradictions. It focuses on the comparison between the Chinese items and the counterparts of ancient Greek and even of contemporary Western
philosophy, and concludes that there turn out to be many similar elements of philosophy and logic at the beginnings of Chinese and Greek
Cheng, Chung-ying. 1965. "Inquiries into Classical Chinese Logic." Philosophy East and West no. 15:195-216.
"For the purpose of elucidating the nature of Chinese logic, we may suggest that the goal of study and research in classical Chinese
logic should be en visaged as a critical analysis of the explicit logico-methodological issues in Chinese classical discourses, on the one hand, and a
synthetic reconstruction of implicit logico-scientific theories, on the other. We may, indeed, conduct our examination in the light of an adequate
understanding of modern logic, history, and the philosophy of logic and science. First, let us pose the following important questions: whether or not Chinese
philosophers used logic, or reason and arguments, in their discussions of problems; whether the logic (or reason and arguments) thus used differed essentially
from that of the West; and, finally, if there is something which can be called Chinese logic, what constitutes its particular features? The first step to
adequate replies to these questions consists in testifying to the existence of logical and scientific ideas in classical Chinese writings. The importance of
this testimony can scarcely be overstated, because this is where we can collect our evidence and evolve our explanations." (p. 200)
———. 1968. "Logic and Language in Chinese Thought." In La Philosophie contemporaine. Métaphysique, phénoménologie, langage et
structure. Vol. III, edited by Klibansky, Raymond, 335-347. Firenze: La Nuova Italia.
———. 1971. "Aspects of Classical Chinese Logic." International Philosophical Quarterly no. 11:213-235.
"In the rest of this article I will discuss some of the recent developments under the following topics: (1) the nature and structure of
the Chinese language and its significance for Chinese logic and thought, (2) patterns of Chinese reasoning in early philosophical writings; and (3) the nature
and problems of explicit formalization of Chinese logic." (p. 215)
"Conclusion. In the above, we have discussed, first, the relation of the Chinese grammatical structure to logic and thought in Chinese
philosophy, second, the logical modes of reasoning as contained in classical Chinese philosophical writings, and finally, the explicit Chinese logical
consciousness and inquiries into forms of reasoning and problems of language in relation to reality and truth. We have seen many aspects
of the relationship of Chinese language to Chinese logic and Chinese thought. Among these, a most important one is that both Chinese logic
and Chinese thought have their universal characteristics which
are not contingent on Chinese language, whereas Chinese language, in so far as its grammar is concerned, seems to exhibit the basic points of
Chinese philosophy, and indeed can be taken as a concrete illustration
of important Chinese philosophical principles such as that the whole is relevant for, and contributes to, the determination of the part in
the whole." (p. 234)
———. 1973. "On the Problem of Subject Structure in Language, with Applications to Late Archaic Chinese." In Approaches to
Natural Language: Proceedings of the 1970 Stanford Workshop on Grammar and Semantics, edited by Hintikika, Jaakko, Moravcsik, J. M. E. and Suppes,
Patrick, 413-434. Dordrecht: Reidel.
"In the analysis of the subject-predicate structure of classical Chinese there is want for adequate and well-defined criteria for
determining the various types of subject-predicate structures. This is due to the absence of a general theory to explain the purposes of the analysis.
In this paper I shall start with general consideration of the distinction between subject and predicate and proceed to a relevant application
of such distinction to any language. Once we have made this clear, it is only a corollary to show that subject-predicate structures in Late Archaic Chinese(2)
may be systematically illustrated and logically explained.
Specifically, I shall confine myself to the analysis of the subject structure in language while leaving the treatment ofthe predicate
structure to a separate article." (p. 413)
(2) The use of the term is due to W. A. C. H. Dobson (1959). [Late Archaic Chinese, Toronto].
———. 1975. "On Implication (tse a) and Inference (ku b) in Chinese Grammar and Chinese Logic." Journal of
Chinese Philosophy no. 2:225-244.
Abstract: "This article is intended to explain my discovery of two grammatically independent and yet logically interrelated categories,
namely implication and inference, in Chinese language and Chinese logic, as conveyed by the terms tse and ku and the concepts they connote. I intentionally
refer to tse and ku either as two forms of logical relationship, or as two concepts, or as two terms or two words for these two forms of logical relationship.
The uses of tse and ku as two words can be said to constitute the forms of logical relationship for which they stand. Since the contexts of this article will
make clear what I actually refer to, this ambiguity of usage is harmless and will not prevent an understanding of my arguments."
———. 1983. "Kung-sun Lung: White Horse and Other Issues." Philosophy East and West no. 33:341-354.
"This is an up-to-date analysis of Kung-sun Lung's thesis "White horse is not horse" and the underlying class logic. Critique
is made of the wrong-headedness of the mass-term interpretation (Hansen) and a shallow understanding of classical Chinese grammar in light of modern logic.
Neo-mohist canons on identity, difference, separableness and inseparableness are also analyzed for comparison and contrast."
———. 1987. "Logic and Language in Chinese Philosophy." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 14:285-307.
"Chinese ontology is formulated in the Chinese language and categorized according to Chinese philosophical interests and orientations.
How these interests and orientations differentiate and integrate or relate Chinese ontological theses and views is not only an important historical question
but is also a question of logical consequence."(p. 286)
"Thus an inquiry into language and ontology in Chinese philosophy should naturally reveal distinctions peculiarly to Chinese language,
Chinese ontology, and Chinese philosophy, but also promises insights into the nature, function, form and substance of some, if not all, logico-linguistic
First, the basic and dominant conception of language as a matter of naming (of formulating and applying names) in Chinese philosophy will be
analyzed to clarify how the various schools of philosophy in the
classical period of China developed from their distinctive evaluations of presenting or realizing ontological truths. Then follows an
explanation of the types of ontological theses and positions found in Chinese philosophy.
A clearer understanding will be sought through a series of comparisons and contrasts with contemporary Western positions. Finally, the
response of Chinese philosophers to logico-linguistic and ontological issues will be discussed." (p. 287)
———. 1997. "Philosophical Significance of Gongsun Long: A New Interpretation of Theory of "Zhi" as Meaning and
Reference." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 24:139-177.
"Although Gongsun Long (GSL) and the Mingjia (School of Names) have been frequently studied in the last two decades in both
China and the Western world for the purpose of clarifying and explaining the nature of Chinese language and Chinese logic, there is not a single study which
has explained the rise of the school of Names and the motivating impetus behind the advancement of reasons and arguments in the school. The method of such
studies is very often a matter of analyzing Gongsun Long's arguments by using modern logic of classes to show why Gongsun Long can be accepted according to
modern standards or to show how it has deviated from modern logic and therefore has to be understood on a different line of logic. There is nothing improper in
these approaches but these approaches fail to answer two important questions regarding the writings of Gongsun Long and the School of Names, namely which goals
did Gongsun Long and the School of Names want to pursue and how did he and the School of Names come to confront their problems and establish their theses and
argue for their validity.
Second, we need to have a full view of Gongsun Long in light of his existing writings and we can not simply draw conclusions on one or two
chapters from the five essays attributed to him." (p. 139 a note omitted)
———. 2000. "Classical Chinese Philosophies of Language: Logic and Ontology." In History of the Language Sciences: An
International Handbook on the Evolution of the Study of Language from the Beginnings to the Present. Vol. I, edited by Auroux, Sylvain, Koerner, E.F.K.,
Niederehe, Hans-Josef and Versteegh, Kees, 19-35. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
Summary: 1. Two aspects of language in early Chinese philosophy; 2. Nature and function of non-substantive words in the Chinese language; 3.
Five positions (theories) of names and sayings in Classical Chinese philosophy; 4. The Cunfucian doctrine of zheng-ming “rectifying names”; 5. The
Daoist doctrine of wu-ming “no names”; 6. Nominalistic tendencies in Yinwenzi; 7. Platonistic tendencies in Gongsun Long; 8. Empirical (scientific)
realism of names and language in the Neo-Moist Canons (Jing/Shuo); 9. Concluding remarks; 10. Bibliography.
"9. Concluding remarks
In the above I have discussed the ontological import of chinese language and the conception of language in various ontological perspectives
developed in Classical Chinese Philosophy.
I distinguished names (ming) from sayings (yan) which are two basic aspects of chinese language. I also distinguished
between ontology in and of language and ontology independent of or without language. I
have shown that for the Confucianists the ontological considerations of names are subject to practical, normative considerations of
yan. For the Daoists, both names and sayings are abolished for ontological and normative, practical reasons, and an ontology without language is
tacitly suggested and presented.
For Yinwenzi and Gongsun Long, the ontological import of names dominates the practical, normative ends of yan. Finally, for the
Neo-Moists ontological considerations are to be regulated by logical and methodological considerations, and language is to be developed and refined by logic
and scientific discovery into a tool for expressing objective truth and objective knowledge." (p. 35)
———. 2003. "Language and Logic." In Encyclopedia of Chinese Philosophy, edited by Cua, Antonio S., 343-355. New York:
———. 2006. "From Donald Davidson’s Use of ‘Convention T’ to Meaning and Truth in Chinese Language." In Davidson’s Philosophy
and Chinese Philosophy: Constructive Engagement, edited by Mou, Bo, 271-308. Leiden: Brill.
———. 2007. "Reinterpreting Gongsun Longzi and Critical Comments on Other Interpretations." Journal of Chinese Philosophy
"In my earlier works of 1969 and 1970,(16) I have suggested that GSL [Gongsun Longzi] is Platonic in the sense that he is an abstract
realist. I have considered white as indicating whiteness and horse as indicating horsehood as they are abstract qualities which are abstracted from real
experiences and given a status of independent status apart from the concrete experience of the world. I may even think that the indeterminate
(budingzhe) could be an abstraction from all our known determinations.
Now I wish to stress the importance of seeing determinations (as zhi) as both naturally arising and epistemological recognized with
our conceptions which fit with our experiences in totality and as a totality. In this sense I wish now to take the concrete realist position which means:
There are natural qualities in things which require our experiences and cognition. As to how they are to be characterized and related to each other, we
need to use our best brains to find out and construe our language in a manner which preserves coherence of experiences and yet reveals our insights into
reality and language use in regard to this reality in different modes of reference (experience) and meaning (theories)." (p. 548)
(16) See my article “Logic and Language in Chinese Thought,” Contemporary Philosophy: A Survey 3 (1969): 335–47. See also my article
“Logic and Ontology of Kungsun Lung in the Chi-Wu-Lun,” Philosophy East and West 20, no. 2 (1970): 137–54. In the latter I have translated the whole
essay of GSL’s Zhiwu Lun into English and then formalize it in the first-order predicate logic with identity for the purpose of showing the
validity of the argument. I have succeeded to show the validity of GSL’s argument.
Many later researchers are lack of research and information for these contributions I have made and proceeded. This in a way shows their
study of GSL has not made new discovery which enables them move to the positions which are easily untenable or simply evidence-lacking.
———. 2012. "Preface: Chinese Logic as Threefold: Reference, Meaning and Use." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no.
"I believe therefore there are three layers of Chinese logic, the formal or semiformal logic of truth functions, the semantic logic of
fixed usages, and the pragmatic logic of nonfixed usages based on contextual and intentional interpretations. One must see that whereas the Neo-Moist Canons
(including some corrupted parts such as the Daqu) make efforts to construct a formal logic of truth functions based on formal understanding of
reference and inference, the Neo-Moist Xiaoqu has shown its efforts to establish a semantic logic by revealing different forms of inference and hidden
restraining factors for uses of our common concepts or predicates in references, which make a difference to inferences. On the other hand, we have to mention
Xunzi as a critical-minded logical philosopher who wishes to develop and establish a semantic-referential logic that functions on fixed relations of reference
and meaning based on an objective and yet conventional epistemology of objects and concepts. He would like to repudiate both the semantic logic of Neo-Moists
and the pragmatic or otherwise realistic logic of Gongsun Long.
In this present issue on Neo-Moist or later Moist logic, our organizer of the special theme, Professor Yiu-ming Fung, and our expert authors
have made their new specific explorations into Chinese logic based on early scholarship and their own insights. I thank each of them for their individual
achievements." (p. 326
Cheng, Chung-ying, and Swain, Richard H. 1970. "Logic and Ontology in the Chih Wu Lun of Kung-Sun Lung Tzu."
Philosophy East and West no. 20:137-154.
"One of the most disputed texts of classical Chinese philosophy is the Chih Wu Lun of Kung-sun Lung. Conflicting translations
and interpretations have been offered by Fung Yu-lan,(1) A. C. Graham,(2) Janusz Chmielewski,(3) Wing-tsit Chan,(4) and others. It seems to us that each of
these scholars, by concentrating almost exclusively on establishing a meaning for the term chihe, has overlooked the fundamental
importance of both the structure of Kung-sun Lung's argument and the meaning of the term wud. Taking into account all three of
these factors, we hope to show that Kung-sun Lung has presented a tight, logical argument elucidating the nature and function of reference." (p. 137)
(1) Fung Yu-lan, A History of Chinese Philosophy, trans. Derk Bodde, 2 vols. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1952), I,
(2) A. C. Graham, "Kung-sun Lung's Essay on Meanings and Things," Journal of Oriental Studies 2, no. 2 (Jul. 1955),
(3) Janusz Chmielewski", Notes on Early Chinese Logic (I)," Rocznik Orientalistyczny 26, no. 1 (1963), 7-22.
(4) Wing-tsit Chan, A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1963), pp. 237-238.
Cheng, Zhongtang. 2007. "Logic paradigm in the “Mobian” investigation: From a hermeneutic point of view." Frontiers of
Philosophy in China no. 2:188-205.
Abstract: "This article describes the logic paradigm in the “Mobian” 墨辩 (the debate theory of the Mohist school) investigation from the
point of view of hermeneutics, discloses the relationship between the overinterpretation tradition in China and the logic paradigm in the “Mobian”
investigation, observes the overinterpretation of the “Mobian” by the creators and supporters of the logic paradigm from Liang Qichao and Hu Shi to the
modernists, including mathematical logicians, and analyzes Shen Youding’s reflections on the logic paradigm in his later life."
Chmielewski, Janusz. 1962. "Notes on Early Chinese Logic. Part I." Rocznik Orientalistyczny no. 26:7-22.
Reprinted in Chmielewski (2009), pp. 175-190.
"This paper is a short and preliminary report on a more comprehensive study devoted to various aspects of Chinese logic which I hope to,
publish in French. Since the final working up and polishing of the rather extensive French text will require some time - while the results so far arrived at
seem rather new, and scholars working in the field of Chinese philosophy and logic may be expected to find some interest in them - I have thought it useful to
publish a short account in English before the full version of my study is ready for publication [*]. For technical reasons it has turned out to be necessary to
divide the paper into several parts. The first one, presently published, offers a summary of the first three chapters of my study; - dealing chiefly with the
Kung-sun Lung tsi. Summaries of chapters dealing with problems concerning the calculus of propositions, the calculus of functions, etc. - as they are
represented in the reasonings of the early Chinese thinkers - will successively appear in the subsequent issues of this "Roc:znik". (p. 175 of the
"The task I have set myself may be briefly stated in the following terms: Without losing sight of the philological and historical
background (which, I believe, is always the necessary prerequisite in sinological research) I propose to single out some more or less typical forms of
reasoning ( whether already interpreted by others, or not) occurring in early Chinese philosophers; to define them from the standpoint and in terms of
elementary symbolic logic; to find out general logical laws and notions underlying them; and, as far as possible, to compare them with the ancient logical
theory of the West." (p. 176 of the reprint)
* [The French study was never published]
———. 1963. "Notes on Early Chinese Logic. Part II." Rocznik Orientalistyczny no. 26:91-105.
Reprinted in Chmielewski (2009), pp. 191-206.
"IV. On the so-called "Chinese sorites".— The first serious attempt to analyse early Chinese reasoning in one of its most
typical forms is due to P. Masson-Oursel, Esquisse d'une théorie comparée du sorite, "Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale" XX, Paris 1912,
pp. 810-824 (cf. also his La démonstration confucéenne — Note sur la logique chinoise prébouddhique "Revue de FHistoire des Religions"
LXVII, 1913, pp. 49—54, which, in fact, reproduces the first chapter, Le sorite chinois, of the Esquisse). A good and comparatively short
example of the form here in question is, for instance, Lao-tsi LIX: 重稹德則無不克， 無不克則莫知其極，莫.知其資［則］可以有國 "If one repeatedly agglomerates one's Virtue,
there is nothing one cannot overcome; if there is nothing one cannot overcome, one knows no bounds; if one knows no bounds, one is able to keep the kingdom'.
Masson-Oursel, as is seen from the very title of his study, defines the form as a sorites, although he remarks that "Ce n*est pas, ou du moins, ce n'est
pas essentiellement d'un rapport entre idées qu'il s'agit; l'extension ou la compréhension des concepts ne sont pas, ou du moins ne sont pas les seuls
principes que régissent ces argumentations ; elles consistent bien plutôt à noter des rapports entre des conditions objectives" (Esquisse, p.
810)." (p. 191 of the reprint)
"Thus, contrary to Masson-Oursel, we are entitled to state that early Chinese philosophers had quite a number of formal means at their
disposal and that they actually used various types of reasoning. The so-called sorites, important and typical as it is, is far from being the only logical form
to be met with in early Chinese philosophical thinking.
Before proceeding to an investigation of both the distinction of the alleged sub-forms ('progressive' and 'regressive') of the 'Chinese
sorites' and Bodde's criticism of the form as a whole, it is necessary to analyse the form itself from the standpoint of modern formal logic. On. closer
inspection, the alleged 'Chinese sorites' can be proved to belong to the propositional calculus (that is to say, the part of logic operating with whole
propositions, or propositional variables, non-analysed into members smaller than a proposition), and it turns out to be based on valid formulae of this
calculus. On the other hand, the very notion of sorites is inadequate and misleading in reference to the form under discussion." (p. 193 of the
Derk Bodde, Types of Reasoning in Li Ssŭ, in China's First Unifier, Leiden: Brill 1938, pp. 223-237 (reprinted with a new
Foreword Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press 1967).
———. 1963. "Notes on Early Chinese Logic. Part III." Rocznik Orientalistyczny no. 27:103-121.
Reprinted in Chmielewski (2009), pp. 207-226.
"V. The Mohist hiao and some related problems.
The logic of terms (as opposed to the logic of propositions) embraces the calculus of classes and the calculus of functions. After having
briefly dealt with the role and the main features of the propositional calculus as actually used in early Chinese reasoning ( ch. IV of the present study) and
the Chinese theory of classes as represented in the Kung-sun Lung tsï (chapters II-III of my study), it is now time to turn to the calculus of
functions which - at least in some of its subdivisions - is also not without a specific role in early Chinese logic." (p. 207 of the reprint)
"It must be said in advance that the calculus of functions as thus delimited does not play any very important role in early Chinese
logic. But since traces of it appear to subsist even in the Chinese logical theory (poor as it was) and, on the other hand, are certainly discoverable in some
actual reasonings ( even if these are neither numerous nor typical), the problem cannot be omitted from the present investigation. By the way, as we shall see
later, the analysis of the samples of Chinese material in which the elements of the calculus now in question are involved will at the same time yield marginal
results which themselves are not without interest from both the logical and the linguistic point of view." (p. 208 of the reprint)
———. 1965. "Notes on Early Chinese Logic. Part IV." Rocznik Orientalistyczny no. 28:87-111.
Reprinted in Chmielewski (2009), pp. 227-252.
"VI. An instance of reasoning in Mo-tsi 26 and the problem of relationships between language and the logic of funxtions in
As has been shown in the preceding section (see RO XXVII, 1; pp. 103 - 121), there are sufficient reasons to interpret the so-called Mohist
hiao as a specific logical formula belonging to the simple calculus of functions, - even if there is in neither Mo-tsi nor another Chinese
philosophical text any example of reasoning qualified as hiao and corresponding to the formula in question. On the other hand, there are in the body
of the Mo-tsi instances of reasoning logically valid, which can: be adequately analysed (formalised) by means of different and comparatively
complicated formulae of the calculus of functions - formulae which have no counterpart in the logical theory of the Mohists.
In other words: what appears in the logical theory (that is, explicit logic) does not appear in actual practice of philosophical reasoning
(implicit logic), and vice versa.
This seems paradoxical enough, but we must remember that the early Chinese thinkers were much more sophisticated in actual reasoning than in
theoretical reflection on logical problems. In their philosophic;al practice they were able intuitively to reason according to valid formulae (or inferential
patterns) which were sometimes astonishingly complicated. At the same time their logical theory, poor as it was, was necessarily limited to much more
elementary logical problems which - precisely on account of their simplicity - played little role, if any, in actual philosophical speculation. This, I think,
explains the seeming paradox just mentioned." (p. 227 of the reprint)
———. 1965. "Notes on Early Chinese Logic. Part V." Rocznik Orientalistyczny no. 29:117-138.
Reprinted in Chmielewski (2009), pp. 253-274.
"VII. The principle of double negation, the law of contradiction and some related problems in early Chinese thought.
First I wish to apologise for a change in the original plan of the present series of Notes. As was previously announced (see RO XXVII, 1, p.
104), the present chapter VII should continue to deal with the calculus of functions in Chinese reasoning. Contrary to this announcement, it has turned out to
be necessary to discuss at this point the problem of contradiction in early Chinese logic together with some corollary problems closely associated with this
main topic. The present chapter (which will comprise two sections) is devoted to this discussion.
I shall revert to the analysis of Chinese reasoning involving the calculus of functions (and the calculus of relations in particular) in
later chapters." (p. 253 of the reprint)
"The technical Modern Chinese term for 'contradiction' is mao-tun ( = rnao shun) literally 'spear ( and) shield ', and
it is convenient to start the discussion of the explicit references to (non-)contradiction in pre-Han philosophical texts with a story - better known to
linguists and etymologists than historians of Chinese philosophy - which besides being closely connected with our main problem at the same time explains the
origin of the unusual Chinese term. In the body of pre-Han literature the passage appears more than once. In the Han-fei-tsi it is quoted twice, in
ch. 36 (Nan-i) and (in a slightly different wording) ch. 40 (Nan-shï); moreover, another version of the story has been preserved in Yang
Shï-hün' s commentary (of the T 'ang period) to the Ku-liang chuan, Ai kung, 2nd year, where the story itself is put forward as a quotation from
the Chuang-tsï. Curiously enough, the passage which is of undeniable logical import and is, in fact, a kind of rather sophisticated definition of
contradiction together with the explicit rejection of self-contradictory
statements, has so far remained unnoticed by nearly all historians of Chinese philosophy, both Chinese and Western.
"In Ch'u there was a man selling shields and spears; he praised (his shields) saying: "(My) shields are so strong that nothing can
pierce them". And again he praised his spears saying: "My spears are so sharp that there is nothing they do not pierce". Somebody asked him:
"How about your spear piercing your shield?" The man was not able to reply. Now, a shield which cannot be pierced and a spear for which there is
nothing it does not pierce cannot stand at the same time".
It is clear that the story involves contradictory statements about 'spears and shields', - which latter expression actually came to be used
for 'contradiction' in Chinese. But in spite of its intuitive clarity, the passage involves a very specific case of contradiction, yields a fairly complicated
formalisation, and certainly gives evidence of the logical keenness of the early Chinese mind." (pp. 272-273 of the reprint, notes omitted)
———. 1966. "Notes on Early Chinese Logic. Part VI." Rocznik Orientalistyczny no. 30:31-52.
Reprinted in Chmielewski (2009), pp. 275-296.
"VII. The principle of double negation, the law of contradiction and some related problems in early Chinese thought
As has been shown in the preceding section, the Han Fei tsi story [*] about the weapon-dealer involves a conjunction of
self-contradictory propositions, a conjunction which was explicitly rejected by the compiler of the text (see RO XXIX, 2, pp. 136-138). Thus, the
story can rightly be considered, first, a good illustration (and one fairly sophisticated at that) of what contradiction is, second, a specific formulation of
the principle of non-contradiction." (p. 275 of the reprint)
"Explicit references to (non-)contradiction made by the Mohist dialecticians and preserved in the 'canonical' chapters (40-43) of the
Mo-tsï are of a still greater importance, since they, first, are put forward in connection with the practice of dialectic discussion; second, they are
concerned with direct contradiction, *(p · p'); and consequently, third, they necessarily involve the problem of excluded middle.
All these points are entirely absent from the Han Fe tsĭ story just discussed, and this is perhaps one of the reasons why the story
itself has escaped the notice of nearly all historians of Chinese thought, including those pretending to deal with Chinese logic. The Mohist aspect of our
problem has, on the contrary, been discussed rather frequently by sinologists, even if not always in adequate terms." (p. 277 of the reprint)
"In Western sinology, the first statement that the Mohists "recognise the principle of the excluded middle in practice if not in
theory" is due to A. C. Graham(6) who - inversely - left out of consideration the law of non-contradiction." (p. 278 of the reprint)
(6) "Being" in Westem Philosophy compared with shih/lfei and yu/wu in Chinese Philosophy, "Asia Major", VII, 1-
2, 1959, pp. 79-112. The article is also a contribution to the interpretation of the Mohist 'canonical' chapters, see especially pp. 91- 96.
[*] The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzŭ, Translated form the Chinese by W. K. Liao, London: Arthur Probsthain, 1939, Vol. 1, p.
———. 1967. "Linguistic Structure and Two-Valued Logic: the Case of Chinese." In To Honor Roman Jakobson: Essays on the occasion
of his seventieth birthday, 475-482. The Hague: Mouton.
"In the present article which is respectfully dedicated to Roman Jakobson I propose to deal at some length with what I consider one of
the fundamental problems of the relationships between linguistic structure and logic. The linguistic basis of the article has been deliberately limited to
Archaic Chinese (roughly 10th through 3rd cent. B.C.) not only because the writer himself is a sinologist rather than a general linguist, but also for less
subjective reasons. Although the problem of the logical aspects of Chinese has been badly mishandled by many philosophically minded traditional sinologists,
Chinese is, in fact, a remarkably logical language which perfectly suits our present purpose. It also appears that the results arrived at in relation to
Chinese are of no small comparative and general importance." (p. 475, note omitted)
"In sum, from the point of view of two-valued logic Chinese is remarkably logical and presumably is unique among the great langues de
civilisation. In this respect it is certainly superior to many Indo-European languages, the logical aspects of which are vitiated by the so-called cumulative
negation.(14) These conclusions appear to be rather striking, the more so as Chinese traditionally has been accused of an alleged illogicality (or recently
praised for its prelogicality). What use the early Chinese thinkers actually made of their language in their explicit and implicit logic is another matter
which lies beyond the scope of the present paper. However, it is perhaps useful to emphasize here that at an early date they arrived at a fairly sophisticated
formulation of the principle of non-contradiction and that the dialectical procedure of the Mohists was based on the laws of non-contradiction and of excluded
middle." (p. 482, anote omitted)
(14) Latin appears to be an important exception. It is not without reason that Couvreur's Latin renderings of our Chinese examples have been
cited as both most literal and most adequate. [S. Couvreur, Les Quatre Livres (1895)]
———. 1968. "Notes on Early Chinese Logic. Part VII." Rocznik Orientalistyczny no. 31:117-136.
Reprinted in Chmielewski (2009), pp. 297-316.
"VIII. Some logical aspects of the problem of 'similarity and difference’.
I briefly alluded to the problem of ‘similarity and difference’ in connection with a Mohist fragment discussed for another reason in the
preceding section, cf. RO XXX, 1; p. 42 and footnote 25.[*] In the present chapter I propose to deal at some length with this problem which itself
constitutes an important topic of the Mohist dialectics and which is also not without practical implications for the interpretation of some passages in pre-Han
texts of non-Mohist origin. As a matter of fact, it may safely be assumed that the notions of 'similarity’ (t’ung) and 'difference’ (i) had
been widely — but arbitrarily and rather vaguely — used in some philosophical circles, especially among the Taoists and the non-Mohist dialecticians, some time
before the compilation of the Mohist 'dialectical chapters’, and that the Mohists must have taken these notions from outside their own philosophical
tradition(1). Then, in line with their rationalist trend of thought and probably in response to the confusion arising from the use and misuse of these notions
by non-Mohist philosophers, the Mohists themselves restated the problem of 'similarity and difference’ in their own terms and gave it a prominent place in
their dialectical method. Unfortunately, some of the surviving Mohist fragments dealing with (or alluding to) the tung-i problem are obscure because
of their terseness or corruption (or both) — while others must have been entirely lost from the textus receptus (cf. infra, p. 128) — and we are bound
to say that the Mohist standpoint together with the specific role of 'similarity and difference’ within the whole of the Mohist dialectics cannot be safely
reconstructed in detail(2). But on the other hand, some of the fragments concerned, especially those in the 'canonical’ chapters, are of such a clarity as to
permit us to deal with them in terms of formalisation. In other words, some of the Mohist ideas about 'similarity and difference’ can be safely reconstructed
without too much speculation and at the level of formalisation at that, — and these, fragmentary and incomplete as they are, appear to constitute an important
Mohist contribution to the elucidation of the notions involved. Furthermore, it appears that the results arrived at through the analysis of the Mohist
fragments in question, together with the exegetical notes on the t'ung-i problem by some later (pre-T'ang and T’ang) commentators, can throw a new
light on the rather obscure non-Mohist passages involving this problem. Accordingly, in the present chapter I am going to deal, first, with the problem of
'similarity and difference’ as can be seen in the Mohist fragments (that is, the ‘canonical’ chapters and, to a lesser extent, the Ta-ts'ii chapter of
the Mo-tsi); second, in connection with the results arrived at in the first part I will try to solve the still controversial problem of Huei Shi's
't'ung-i paradox’ recorded in Chuang-tsi XXXIII. The discussion of these main topics, however, must be preceded by a few semantic and linguistic
considerations on the Chinese terms involved and on the very notions of ‘similarity’ and ‘difference’ as well." (pp. 297-298 of the reprint)
(1) There is no mention of or allusion to the t'ung-i problem in the extensive body of the Mo-tsi except for its (later)
(2) Some purely conjectural and far-fetched interpretations of 'similarity and difference’ in the Mohist dialectics will be referred to
[*] footnote 25: "Fot the time being, cf. the best extant account of the t'ung-i problem in GFUng-Bodde, Ahistory of
Chinese Philosophy, I pp. 262-265)
———. 1969. "Notes on Early Chinese Logic. Part VIII." Rocznik Orientalistyczny no. 32:83-103.
Reprinted in Chmielewski (2009), pp. 317-338.
"VIII. Some logical aspects of the problem of 'similarity and difference’(Continued).
"The main conclusion of the present discussion is clear: the Mohists must have been at a complete loss if they ever tried to deal with
class similarity in a way parallel to the one they so successfully resorted to in the case of class difference, and this time their confusion must have been
due not only to the limitations imposed on them by the structural and idiomatic peculiarities of their ordinary language, but also to the logical aspect of the
problem itself. This also explains why the second definition of class similarity has been omitted from my previous account. Even if in the case of difference
the Mohists emphasised the 'feature aspect’ of their problem (and in this case they could do so for both linguistic and logical reasons), their intuitive
concept of class similarity mufet necessarily have been connected with the ‘identity aspect’ rather than the hopelessly confused ‘feature aspect’ of this
particular problem." (pp. 336-337 of the reprint)
———. 1979. "Concerning the Problem of Analogic Reasoning in Ancient China." Rocznik Orientalistyczny no. 40:64-78.
Reprinted in Chmielewski (2009), pp. 339-352.
Review article of John S. Cikoski, On Standards of Analogic Reasoning in the Late Chou, “Journal of Chinese Philosophy” II/3, 1975;
"Probably all sinologists agree that reliance on analogy, whatever this may mean, constitutes one of the salient features of the
philosophical thinking of the Chinese. On the other hand, the problem itself has so far not been investigated beyond a few occasional contributions(1), and
even the very notion of analogy which is implied in statements about the 'analogical thinking’ of the Chinese remains vague. Cikoski’s original and stimulating
paper is, in fact, the first attempt to deal more thoroughly with analogy and its role in Chinese thought of the Late Chou period, and as such it deserves
careful attention. It is most unfortunate that the author’s unconventional approach to the problem together with the unnecessarily involved presentation of his
contentions make the paper hard reading and are likely to deter many sinologists from giving it the attention it deserves.
The paper has two different levels which should be clearly distinguished. The first of these, which I shall call methodological, is concerned
with the author’s own mathematical conception of analogy. The second is sinological in the sense that it is intended to constitute an application of the
author’s theoretical ideas to Chinese source materials. In my opinion, both these levels call for critical remarks.
Roughly one third of the paper deals with the author’s conception of analogy, according to which a concept is “the sort of entity called
Boolean algebra” (p. 355, footnote 2)(2) and an analogy between concepts is “a homomorphism between Boolean algebras” (ibid.). Cikoski also claims “to
have demonstrated the mathematical possibility of a calculus of analogies quite independent of, and quite equivalent to, a calculus of propositions”
(ibid.). As can be seen from these quotations, it would be better for the methodological part of the paper to be reviewed by a professional
mathematician rather than a sinologist. It is only fair to emphasize that my remarks concerning the methodological level are merely those of a sinologist who
cannot claim competence in what Cikoski calls “a rather abstruse and quite recently-developed branch of modern mathematics” (p. 351)." (pp. 339-340 of the
reprint, anote omitted)
(1) Cf., e.g., the chapter Types of reasoning in Li Ssŭ in D. Bodde, Chinas First Unifier, Leiden, 1938 (pp. 223-232); and
D. C. Lau, On Mencius' use of the method of analogy in argument, “Asia Major” X/2, 1963, pp. 173-194.
———. 1979. "Quantification Logic and Chinese Grammar." In A Semiotic Landscape: Proceedings of the First Congress of the
International Association for Semiotic Studies, Milan 1974, edited by Chatman, Seymour, 382-383. The Hague: Mouton.
"As a sequel to my earlier papers concerned with the logical analysis of Chinese, I propose to deal with the problem of how
Quantification Logic (QL) operates in Classical Chinese (CC), that is, the written Chinese language of the pre-Christian and early Christian era. For obvious
reasons only explicit quantification, that is, actual lexical units which correspond to a logical quantifier (Q), whether universal (U) or existential (E), and
syntactic constructions which contain such explicit Q-terms are considered." (p. 382)
"Conclusions. The grammatical procedures of quantification in CC constitute a very close 'natural' counterpart to the classical bivalent
QL, and an adequate 'quantification grammar' for Chinese must necessarily be based on that part of the logical calculus. This, of course, runs against the
traditional opinion that the Chinese language is 'illogical'." (p. 3838)
———. 2009. Language and Logic in Ancient China: Collected Papers on the Chinese Language and Logic. Warsaw: Polska Akademia
Edited by Marek Mejor.
Table of Contents: Editor’s Preface 9; Marek Mejor: Janusz Chmielewski (1916-1998) 11; Marek Mejor: Janusz Chmielewski: List of Publications
17; Jerzy Pogonowski: Logical Aspects of Janusz Chmielewski's Works 23-30.
Language and Logic in Ancient China
Part One: Language
1. The typological evolution of the Chinese language (1949) 33; 2. The problem of syntax and morphology in Chinese (1957) 93; 3. The problem
of early loan-words in Chinese as illustrated by the word p'u-t'ao (1958) 107; 4. Two early loan-words in Chinese (1961) 147; 5. Syntax and
word-formation in Chinese (1964) 153;
Part Two: Logic
6. Notes on early Chinese logic (I) (1962) 175;
I. Preliminary remarks; II. On the alleged “Chinese syllogism”; III. The problem of the 指 [zhī3];
7. Notes on early Chinese logic (II) (1963) 191;
IV. On the so-called “Chinese sorites”
8. Notes on early Chinese logic (III) (1963) 207;
V. The Mohist hiao and some related problems
9. Notes on early Chinese logic (IV) (1965) 227;
VI. An instance of reasoning in Mo-tsï 26 and the problem of relationships between language and the logic of functions in Chinese
10. Notes on early Chinese logic (V) (1965) 253;
VII. The principle of double negation, the law of contradiction and some related problems in early Chinese thought
11. Notes on early Chinese logic (VI) (1966) 275;
VII. The principle of double negation, the law of contradiction and some related problems in early Chinese thought (Continued)
12. Notes on early Chinese logic (VII) (1968) 297;
VIII. Some logical aspects of the problem of ‘similarity and difference’
13. Notes on early Chinese logic (VIII) (1969) 317;
VIII. Some logical aspects of the problem of ‘similarity and difference’ (Continued)
14. Concerning the problem of analogic reasoning in ancient China [Review article] (1979) 339-352.
"The present volume of the series „Prace Orientalistyczne” contains selected papers on ancient Chinese language and logic by JANUSZ
CHMIELEWSKI (1916-1998), an eminent Polish Sinologist and linguist, professor of the University of Warsaw. The selection covers all main contributions of
All papers are reproduced from the originals published in the journal Rocznik Orientalistyczny.
The volume is divided into two parts. In the first part, the Editor gathered five most important papers of Professor Chmielewski on ancient
Chinese language, including his “The typological evolution of the Chinese language” from 1949. In the second part, on ancient Chinese logic, the reader will
find the complete set of Professor Chmielewski’s “Notes on early Chinese logic” I-VIII, which won him acclaim of the academia, and, in addition, a paper on the
problem of analogic reasoning in ancient China." (From the Editor's Preface)
Chong, Chaehyung. 1999. "The Neo-Mohist Conception of "bian" (Disputation)." Journal of Chinese
Philosophy no. 26:1-19.
Abstract: "In this paper, I challenge previous attempts to allocate Neo-Mohist bian into either an art of inference or an art
of description. I claim that Neo-Mohist bian has both aspects of inference and description. Theories of leib (classification,
kinds) play a central role in such an interpretation. In this regard, an interpretation emphasizing one aspect without the other fails to catch the real nature
of Neo-Mohist bian."
"1. General Conception of Bian in Ancient China
Biana in Classical Chinese literally means both 'fluency in language' and 'discrimination'. Therefore in its
ordinary use, it is interchanged with the term bianc (discrimination). However, in Classical Chinese philosophy especially in the 4th and
3rd centuries B. C., bian is a technical term to refer to an art of disputation or argumentation. As the zhoulid (the
rituals of Zhou dynasty), which had been regarded as the received moral system, weakened at that time, most Chinese philosophical schools freely participated
in heated disputations in order to defend their respective moral claims and defeat rival claims." (p. 1)
———. 2013. "Xunzi’s Sanhuo (Three Types of Cognitive Delusions)." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 39:424-435.
Abstract: "This article explicates Xunzi’s three types of cognitive delusions in Xunzi’s Zhengming Pian. The followings are my
conclusions: first, general names such as “a white horse,” “a horse,” “a thief,” and “a
man” are thought of as proper nouns because the classic Chinese theory of language concerned pragmatics rather than semantics.
Second, classic Chinese epistemology does not address conceptual (logical) knowledge or knowledge based on argumentation distinguished from
the art of description.Third, Gongsun Long believes in an extreme form of one-name-one-thingism. Fourth, Neo-Moists’ theory of inference is based on
intensional contexts. Fifth, Hui Shi’s position presupposes the art of knowing objects before any verbal expression and suggests the arbitrariness in the
expressions of known objects. Sixth, Xunzi’s logic and semantics are extensional. "
Chong, Kim-chong. 2006. "Metaphorical Use versus Metaphorical Essence: Examples from Chinese Philosophy." In Davidson’s
Philosophy and Chinese Philosophy: Constructive Engagement, edited by Mou, Bo, 229-246. Leiden: Brill.
———. 2020. "Analogical and Metaphorical Thinking in the Mencius, Xunzi and Zhuangzi." In Dao Companion to Chinese Philosophy of
Logic, edited by Fung, Yiu-ming, 351-367. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
Chunpo, Zhang, and Jtalong, Zhang. 1997. "Logic and Language in Chinese Philosophy." In Companion Encyclopedia of Asian
Philosophy, edited by Carr, Brian and Mahalingam, Indira, 562-575. New York: Routledge.
Cikoski, John S. 1975. "On Standards of Analogic Reasoning in the Late Chou." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no.
Abstract: "A theory of analogic reasoning is established in which concepts are equated with boolean algebras and analogies with
homomorphisms. The functional equivalence of analogic reasoning thus defined to propositional logic is shown. Chinese philosophers of the late Chou are shown
to have been well acquainted with the rules governing the rigorous use of analogic reasoning."
Cua, Antonio S. 1985. Ethical Argumentation: A Study in Hsun Tzu’s Moral Epistemology. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
Cui, Qingtian. 2005. "Processes and Methods in Researching the History of Chinese Logic." Asian and African Studies no.
D’Ambrosio, Paul J., Kantor, Hans-Rudolf, and Moeller, Hans-Georg. 2018. "Incongruent Names: A Theme in the History of Chinese
Philosophy." Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy no. 17:305-330.
Abstract: "This essay is meant to shed light on a discourse that spans centuries and includes different voices. To be aware of such
trans-textual resonances can add a level of historical understanding to the reading of philosophical texts. Specifically, we intend to demonstrate how the
notion of the ineffable Dao 道, prominently expressed in the Daodejing 道德經, informs a long discourse on incongruent names (ming 名) in distinction to a
mainstream paradigm that demands congruity between names and what they designate. Thereby, we trace the development of the idea of the ineffable Dao quite
differently from modern mystical interpretations. We show how, in an early Chinese context, it first gives rise to a sociopolitical critique of the incongruity
underlying socially constructed names in the Zhuangzi 莊子, then to a discourse on the incongruity between moral virtues and names in Xuanxue 玄 學philosophy, and
eventually to Sengzhao’s 僧肇claim that a perceived congruence of names with things does not entail actual congruence between names and reality."
Daor, Dan. 1974. The Yin Wenzi and the Renaissance of Philosophy in Wei-Jin China, London.
Unpublished Ph.D thesis available at https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/33991/1/11015786.pdf
De Reu, Wim. 2006. "Right Words Seem Wrong: Neglected Paradoxes in Early Chinese Philosophical Texts." Philosophy East and
West no. 56:281-300.
"Well-known versus Neglected Paradoxes
Almost all well-known early Chinese paradoxes can be found in a mere three chapters of literature. They appear in short lists compiled by
intellectual opponents. First, the chapter "Tianxia" (Under heaven) of the Zhuangzi gives a description of the philosophies of some
Warring States thinkers and ends with a discussion of the thought of Hui Shi. The author of this chapter enumerates ten paradoxical statements ascribed to Hui
Shi, followed by a list of twenty-one paradoxes used by the bianzhe (disputers) in debate with Hui Shi. Further, the chapter "Zhengming"
(Rectifying names) of the Xunzi presents a threefold classification of paradoxes.
It includes, among others, paradoxes propounded by the Later Mohists as well as by Song Xing, Hui Shi, and Gongsun Long Finally, another
chapter of the Xunzi, "Bugou" (Nothing indecorous), attributes a short list of five paradoxes to Hui Shi and Deng Xi." (p. 281, Chinese
and notes omitted)
"There is no reason to suppose that the number of ancient Chinese paradoxes is limited to the statements found in the ready-made lists.
Scrutinizing the early philosophical writings, one readily discovers that quite a few paradoxes appear outside these lists. In contrast to their more famous
counterparts, these paradoxes are often found embedded in their original contexts. While this contextual information opens the way to a better-founded
interpretation, up to now the paradoxes have been marginalized and treated in an unsystematic way that does not take into account the immediate contexts in
which the paradoxes are uttered. As a result, these paradoxes constitute a relatively new field of study. The present article makes a first attempt in
exploring this field of neglected paradoxes." (p. 282)
Defoort, Carine. 1997. The Pheasant Cap Master (He guan zi): A Rhetorical Reading. Albany: State University of New York Press.
———. 1998. "The Rhetorical Power of Naming: the case of regicide." Asian Philosophy no. 8:111-118.
Dubs, Homer H. 1956. "Y. R. Chao on Chinese Grammar and Logic." Philosophy East and West no. 5:167-168.
Duyvendak, J. J. L. . 1924. "Hsün-tzŭ on the Rectification of Names." T'oung Pao no. 23:221-254.
Feng, Cao, and Harroff, Joseph E. 2008. "A Return to Intellectual History: A New Approach to Pre-Qin Discourse on Name."
Frontiers of Philosophy in China no. 3:213-228.
Feng, Youlan (Fung Yu-lan). 1947. The Spirit of Chinese Philosophy. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co.
First Chinese edition 1947; second edition Boston: Beacon Press 1962.
Translated by E. R. Hughes.
Chapter II: The Philosophers Yang Chu and Mo Ti 29-44; Chapter III: The Dialecticians and Logicians 45-58.
———. 1948. A Short History of Chinese Philosophy. New York: Macmillan.
Edited by Derk Bodde. Reprinted in Selected Philosophical Writings of Fung Yu-lan, Beijing: Foreign Languages Press 1991, pp.
Chapter 5: Mo Tzu, The First Opponemt of Confucius 49-59; Chapter 8: The School of Names 80-92; Chapter 11: The Later Mohists 118-128.
———. 1952. A History of Chinese Philosophy: Vol. I The Period of the Philosophers (from the Beginning to circa 100 b.C.). Princeton:
Princeton University Press.
Translated by Derk Bodde with introduction, notes, bibliography and index.
First Chinese edition 1931; first English edition 1937.
"Save for the present added section, the text of this edition remains unchanged from tjiat of the first edition as published by Henri
Vetch in Peiping in 1937." Revisions and Addtions, [to the second edition] pp. XXI-XXXIV.
Chapter V: Mo Tzü and the Early Mohist School 78-105; Chapter IX: Hui Shih, Kung-sun Lung and the Other Dialecticians 192-220; Chapter XI:
The Later Mohist School 246-278.
Fleming, Jesse. 2009. "A Set Theory Analysis of the Logic of the Yijing." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no.
Fraser, Chris. 2003. "Introduction to Graham, Later Mohist Logic, Ethics and Science." In, XVII-XXXIV. Hong Kong: Chinese
———. 2007. "Language and Ontology in Early Chinese Thought." Philosophy East and West no. 57:420-456.
"This essay critiques Chad Hansen's "mass noun hypothesis," arguing that though most Classical Chinese nouns do function as
mass nouns, this fact does not support the claim that pre-Qin thinkers treat the extensions of common nouns as mereological wholes, nor does it explain why
they adopt nominalist semantic theories. The essay shows that early texts explain the use of common nouns by appeal to similarity relations, not mereological
relations. However, it further argues that some early texts do characterize the relation between individuals and collections as a mereological
———. 2007. "More Mohist Marginalia: A Reply to Makeham on Later Mohist Canon and Explanation B 67." Journal of Chinese
Philosophy and Culture no. 2:227-259.
———. 2009. "The Mohist School." In History of Chinese Philosophy, edited by Mou, Bo, 137-163. New York: Routledge.
———. 2012. "Truth in Mohist Dialectics." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 39:351-368.
———. 2013. "Distinctions, Judgment, and Reasoning in Classical Chinese Thought." History and Philosophy of Logic no.
———. 2016. "Language and Logic in the Xunzi." In Dao Companion to the Philosophy of Xunzi, edited by Hutton, Eric L.,
291-321. Dordrecht: Springer.
———. 2016. The Philosophy of the Mòzĭ: The First Consequentialists. New York: Columbia University Press.
Chapter 2: Epistemology and Logic: Drawing Distinctions, pp. 49-76.
———. 2018. "Rationalism and Anti-Rationalism in Later Mohism and the Zhuāngzĭ." In Having a Word with Angus Graham: At
Twenty-Five Years Into His Immortality, edited by Defoort, Carine and Ames, Roger T., 251-274. Albany: State University of New York Press.
———. 2020. "Paradoxes in the School of Names." In Dao Companion to Chinese Philosophy of Logic, edited by Fung, Yiu-ming,
285-307. Cham (Switzerland): Springer.
———. 2020. The Mohist Dialectics.
Digital supplement to part IV of The Essential Mòzǐ (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020),
———. 2021. "Realism about Kinds in Later Mohism." Dao. A Journal of Comparative Philosophy no. 20:93-114.
Abstract: "In a recent article in this journal [*], Daniel Stephens argues against Chad Hansen’s and Chris Fraser’s interpretations of
the later Mohists as realists about the ontology of kinds, contending that the Mohist stance is better explained as conventionalist. This essay defends a
realist interpretation of later Mohism that I call “similarity realism,” the view that human-independent reality fixes the similarities that constitute kinds
and thus determines what kinds exist and what their members are. I support this interpretation with a new, detailed account of the Mohist conception of a kind
on which kind relations lie in inherent similarities between the intrinsic features of objects. This account distinguishes kind relations from “uniting
together” and part-whole relations, both of which, unlike kind relations, may be determined by convention. I argue that Stephens’s critique of realist
interpretations fails because it confuses the ontological issue of what determines the existence of kinds with the semantic issue of what fixes the names for
[*] Realism and Conventionalism in Later Mohist Semantics, Dao Vol. 16, 2017, pp. 521–542.
Fung, Yiu-ming. 2007. "A Logical Perspective on 'Discourse on White-Horse'." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no.
———. 2009. "The School of Names." In History of Chinese Philosophy, edited by Mou, Bo, 164-188. New York: Routledge.
———. 2010. "On the Very Idea of Correlative Thinking." Philosophy Compass no. 5:296-306.
Abstract: "This article aims at providing a general picture of the idea of correlative thinking developed by sinologists and
philosophers in the field of Chinese and comparative studies, including Marcel Granet, Joseph Needham, A. C. Graham, David Hall and Roger Ames. As a matter of
fact, there is no exactly the same view among these scholars when they use the term ‘‘correlative thinking’’ to describe the Chinese mode of thinking; but they
all recognize, more or less, the term’s implication as ‘‘non-logical’’ or ‘‘pre-logical’’, ‘‘non-rational’’ or ‘‘irrational’’, ‘‘intuitive-associative’’ or
‘‘beyond analytic thinking’’. Based on this presumption, some of them think that there is ‘‘irreducibility’’ from the root level of (correlative) thinking to
the upper level of (analytic) thinking or
that there is ‘‘incommensurability’’ between correlative and analytic thinking.
Based on the contemporary philosophy of language and philosophy of mind, especially Donald Davidson’s holism of the mental and the principle
of charity, I shall argue that the thesis of ‘‘prelogical’’, ‘‘illogical’’ or ‘‘non-logical’’ is self-refuting. I shall also demonstrate that the view of
‘‘incommensurability’’ between correlative and analytic thinking and the thesis of ‘‘unanalyzability’’ of correlative thinking shared by most of these scholars
are not well-argued but taken as a primary fact. The conclusion of this article is that there is no thinking by correlation and analogy which cannot be
understood in terms of analytic concepts and which can escape from the logical or rational space."
———. 2012. "Introduction: Language and Logic in Later Moism." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 39:327-332.
———. 2012. "A Logical Perspective on the Parallelism in Later Moism." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 39:333-350.
———, ed. 2020. Dao Companion to Chinese Philosophy of Logic. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
Contents: 1 Yiu-ming Fung: Introduction: Chinese Philosophy of Logic 1;
Part I Concepts in Chinese Philosophy of Logic
2 Jane Geaney: What Is Ming 名? “Name” Not “Word” 15; 3 Bo Mou: Naming, Reference and Truth 33; 4 Yiu-ming Fung: Sentences (Ci 辭, Ju 句) and
Propositional Attitudes 71; 5 Yiu-ming Fung: Counterfactual Conditionals 97; 6 Chris Fraser: Truth in Pre-Han Thought 113; 7 Xinyan Jiang: Contradiction 129; 8
Alexei K. Volkov: Analogy 143; 9 Wujin Yang: Reasoning (Pi 譬, Mou 侔, Yuan 援, Tui 推) 161; 10 Lisa Indraccolo: Argumentation (Bian 辯) 171; 11 Yiu-ming Fung:
Reason (Gu 故) and Principle (Li 理) 181; 12 Wujin Yang and Wanqiang Zhang: Classes (Lei 類) and Individuals 203; 13 Yiu-ming Fung: Sameness (Tong 同) and
Difference (Yi 異) 213; 14 Thierry Lucas: Definitions in Pre-Qin Texts 233;
Part II Issues and Theories in Chinese Philosophy of Logic
15 Thierry Lucas: Logical Thought in Mohism and Later Mohism 253; 16 Chris Fraser: Paradoxes in the School of Names 285; 17 Yiu-ming Fung:
Logical Thinking in the Gongsun Longzi 309; 18 Hui Chieh Loy: Correcting Names in Early Confucianism 329; 19 Kim-chong Chong: Analogical and Metaphorical
Thinking in the Mencius, Xunzi and Zhuangzi 351; 20 Eske J. Møllgaard: Problems of Language and Logic in Daoism 369; 21 Chien-hsing Ho: Paradoxical Language in
Chan Buddhism 389;
Part III Logical Thought Transplanted from India and the West
22 Mingjun Tang: Yin Ming 因明 in Chinese Buddhism 407; 23 Jinmei Yuan: Proper Relations of Association (Zheng 正) vs. Logical Validity of
Syllogism: A Case Study of Shared Practices of Matteo Ricci, S. J. and Chinese Mathematicians in Seventeenth Century 437; 24 Rafael Suter: Logic in China and
Chinese Logic: The Arrival and (Re-)Discovery of Logic in China 465;
Part IV Logic Studies in Chinese Communities
25 Guoping Du and Hongguang Wang: Logic Studies in Mainland China 511; 26 Zeqiang Wu and Wen-fang Wang: Logic Studies in Taiwan 525;
Chinese-English Glossary 541; Author Index 549; Subject Index 553-556.
"The major aim of this Dao Companion to Chinese Philosophy of Logic is to produce a source book for people in the English world
to understand the logical thought and logical thinking in China. In this volume, we will comprehensively and analytically introduce the basic logical ideas and
theories in Chinese thought for students and scholars who are interested in the field. We also hope it could be helpful for further
studies of Chinese philosophy of logic." (p. 4)
———. 2020. "Logical Thinking in the Gongsun Longzi." In Dao Companion to Chinese Philosophy of Logic, edited by Fung,
Yiu-ming, 309-327. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
———. 2020. "Introduction: Chinese Philosophy of Logic." In Dao Companion to Chinese Philosophy of Logic, edited by Fung,
Yiu-ming, 1-11. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
"Comparatists like David Hall and Roger Ames (1995: 230) and Chad Hansen (1985: 492, 1992: 238), are skeptical of the idea that there is
a similar kind of logic used or thought by ancient Chinese thinkers. Some others, including Marcel Granet (1934), Joseph Needham (1956: 280), A. C. Graham (in
his study of the thought in Han 漢 dynasty) (1992: 61–2), and also Roger Ames and David Hall (1995: 141), even adopt a thesis of “special mode of thinking” to
identify Chinese philosophical thinking. They sometimes use the term “correlative thinking” or “associative thinking” to describe the Chinese mode of thinking.
They all recognize, more or less, the term’s implication as “non-logical” or “pre-logical,” “non-rational” or “irrational,” “intuitive-associative” or “beyond
"In contrast, some sinologists and philosophers in the field Chinese philosophy, including Shen Youding 沈有鼎 (1954, reprinted in 1980),
Janusz Chmielewski (1962–69, reprinted in 2009), Cheng Chung-ying 成中英 (1965), A. C. Graham (in his study of Later Mohism 墨家) (1978), and Christoph Harbsmeier
(1998), have demonstrated that the thinking in most philosophical views and arguments in ancient Chinese philosophy, especially in Later Mohism and the School
of Names, is comparable to that in the Western tradition. This view of comparability is counter to the thesis of incommensurability." (pp. 2-3)
Granet, Marcel. 1934. La Pensée chinoise. [Paris: La Renaissance du livre]
Graham, A. C. 1992. Unreason Within Reason: Essays on the Outskirts of Rationality La Salle: Open Court. [Chapter 4: Conceptual
Schemes and Linguistic Relativism in Relation to Chinese, pp. 59-84]
Hall, David and Rogers Ames. 1995. Anticipating China: Thinking Through the Narratives of Chinese and Western Culture. Albany: State
University of New York Press.
Shen, Youding. 1980. Logical Study in the Mohist Canons (Mojing di luoji-xue 墨經的邏輯學). Beijing: Chinese Social Sciences Press. (Reprinted from
Shen’s essay of the same title in Guang Ming Daily 光明日報 1954.)
[For the other references see the present bibliography]
———. 2020. "Sentences (Ci 辭, Ju 句) and Propositional Attitudes." In Dao Companion to Chinese Philosophy of Logic, edited
by Fung, Yiu-ming, 71-95. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
———. 2020. "Reason (Gu 故) and Principle (Li 理)." In Dao Companion to Chinese Philosophy of Logic, edited by Fung,
Yiu-ming, 181-202. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
———. 2020. "Counterfactual Conditionals." In Dao Companion to Chinese Philosophy of Logic, edited by Fung, Yiu-ming,
97-111. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
———. 2020. "Sameness (Tong 同) and Difference (Yi 異)." In Dao Companion to Chinese Philosophy of Logic, edited by Fung,
Yiu-ming, 213-231. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
———. 2020. "Reference and Ontology in the Gōngsūn Lóngzǐ." In The Gongsun Longzi and Other Neglected Texts: Aligning
Philosophical and Philological Perspectives, edited by Suter, Rafael, Indraccolo, Lisa and Behr, Wolfgang, 119-168. Berlin: De Gruyter.