History of Logic from Aristotle to Gödel (www.historyoflogic.com)

by Raul Corazzon | e-mail: rc@ontology.co

Bibliography on Language and Logic in Ancient China. Third part Gal - Luc


This part of the section Intercultural logic includes the following pages:

History of Logic in Ancient China

Ancient Chinese Logic (a survey of contemporary studies)

Bibliography on Language and Logic in Ancient China A - Che

Bibliography on Language and Logic in Ancient China Chm - Fun

Bibliography on Language and Logic in Ancient China Gal - Luc (Current page)

Bibliography on Language and Logic in Ancient China Mae - Z

Studies in English (Gal - Luc)

  1. Galante, Davide. 2001. "Classical Logic and Chinese Language Structure." Metalogicon no. 14:141-170.

    "Is the Classical Logic, with its bivalency, atemporality, connective interdefinability, acceptance of third excluded law, valid for all the languages, or is it worth only inside the Indo-European group which produced it? Given its connection with the language, how much is it influenced from it? In other words, the formal logic is something dealing with the language, or with a language (or group of languages)?

    The link between thought and language is something that cannot be left out of consideration; as it is said, with every new language you get a new soul. But do we get a new logic too?

    In order to answer our question, we have to compare to a language the most different (structure, grammar, phonetic) from the Indo-European languages which discovered and set the formal logic. As we will see later, the Chinese language is perfect for our purpose, being one of the most representative examples of isolating language." (p. 141)


    "I hope I have showed, in this work, a comprehensive view on basic concept and functions of Classical Logic in the Chinese writers (and language). I have tried not to force the quotations in order to get what I was looking for, making, at the same time, myself sure not to violate the rigour of Classical logic.

    No one, I suppose, would dare to say that maths is not transcultural for the difference in writing the numbers in different civilizations. The same, I think, is true for what concerns Logic: there’s one Logic, expressed in different ways. Although grammatical structures may vary (that’s why I compared to Chinese Language, cfr. introduction) Logic itself looks exactly the same." (p. 168)

  2. Garrett, Mary M. 2001. "Language and Logic in China: A Guide for Argumentation Scholars." OSSA Conference Archive no. 34:1-6.

    "In this essay I’ll be commenting on a book that should be of special interest to scholars who are interested in argumentation and informal logic in non-Western contexts, that being Christoph Harbsmeier’s Language and Logic in China (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998). Harbsmeier notes that China deserves special attention as the only non-Indo-European culture that preserves extensive records of argumentation and of reflections on logic, language, and reasoning, and thus deserves serious study.. Harbsmeier comes highly recommended as a guide here; a professor of Chinese at Oslo University who has written on the Chinese language, he is comfortable with symbolic logic and also is familiar with the Classical Greek philosophical tradition. However, even though Harbsmeier announces on p. 1 that one of his central questions will be “What (if any) were the strategies of argumentation and proof employed by the ancient Chinese?” his approach is actually much narrower, and it will help the sinologically innocent reader to understand why this is so." (p. 1)


    "Lastly, let me caution potential readers that although this book appeared in 1998, Harbsmeier did not revise the manuscript after he submitted it in 1989. The work is thus less up-to-date than one might expect." (p. 6)

  3. Gatta, Timon. 2020. "The Translation of Western Philosophical Terms in Chinese: the case studies of "Logic", "Metaphysics" and "Aesthetics"." In Dal Medio all’Estremo Oriente / 2: Studi del Dottorato di ricerca in Civiltà dell’Asia e dell’Africa, edited by Miranda, Marina, 193-219. Roma: Carocci.

  4. Geaney, Jane. 1999. "A Critique of A. C. Graham's Reconstruction of the "Neo-Mohist Canons"." Journal of the American Oriental Society no. 119:1-11.

    "A. C. Graham's Later Mohist Logic, Ethics, and Sciences (1978) is the only Western-language translation of the obscure and textually corrupt chapters of the Mozi that purportedly constitute the foundations of ancient Chinese logic. Graham's presentation and interpretation of this difficult material has been largely accepted by scholars. This article questions the soundness of Graham's reconstruction of these chapters (the so-called "Neo-Mohist Canons"). Upon close examination, problems are revealed in both the structure and the content of the framework Graham uses to interpret the Canons. Without a more reliable framework for interpreting the text, it seems best to remain skeptical about claims that the Canons represent evidence for the study of logic in early China."

  5. ———. 2010. "Grounding «Language» in the Senses: What the Eyes and Ears Reveal about Ming (Names) in Early Chinese Texts." Philosophy East and West no. 60:251-293.

  6. ———. 2011. "The Sounds of Zhèngmíng: Setting Names Straight in Early Chinese Texts." In Ethics in Early China: An Anthology, edited by Fraser, Chris, Robins, Dan and O'Leary, Timothy 125-141. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.

  7. ———. 2018. Language as a Bodily Practice in Early China: a Chinese Grammatology. Albany: State University of New York Press.

  8. ———. 2020. "What Is Ming 名? “Name” Not “Word”." In Dao Companion to Chinese Philosophy of Logic, edited by Fung, Yiu-ming, 15-32. Cham (Switzerland): Springer.

    "In this chapter, I survey a broad range of early Chinese texts to undermine the apparent self-evidence of translating ming as a unit of “language” (or “word”) and its correlates as “reality.” While leaving ming untranslated, I show that ming often functions somewhat like the term “name.” Names point to, pick out, or indicate referents, but names do not have “meanings.” That is, whereas words have a conceptual aspect, names do not. Through emphasizing these distinctions between “word” and “name,” my overview of the usage of ming foregrounds features of early Chinese philosophical discussions that are unusual in relation to the larger history of philosophy of language and logic. Their special significance lies in the nature of both the unit of analysis (ming) and that of its correlates (shi 實, shi 事, xing 形, xing 行, and shen 身)." (p. 17)

  9. ———. 2020. "Movement and Ming (Names): A Response to “Incongruent Names: A Theme in the History of Chinese Philosophy”." Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy no. 19:635-644.

  10. ———. 2022. The Emergence of Word-Meaning in Early China: Normative Models for Words. Albany: State University of New York Press.

  11. Goldin, Paul Rakita. 1999. Rituals of the Way: The Philosophy of Xunzi. Chicago and LaSalle: Open Court.

    Chapter 4. Language and the Way, pp. 83-106-

  12. ———. 2017. "Non-deductive Argumentation in Early Chinese Philosophy." In Between History and Philosophy: Anecdotes in Early China, edited by van Els, Paul and Queen, Sarah A., 41-62. Albany: State University of New York Press.

  13. ———. 2020. The Art of Chinese Philosophy: Eight Classical Texts and How to Read Them. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

    Chapter One: Nondeductive Argumentation and the Art of Chinese Philosophy 13-27.

  14. Graham, Angus Charles. 1955. "Kung-sun Lung’s Essay on Meanings and Things." Journal of Oriental Studies no. 2:282-301.

    "A discussion of Kung-sun Lung's theory of chih and wu as contained in his essay on chih and wu. Graham attempts to show that Kung-sun Lung's theory is intelligible, consistent, and philosophical. But his interpretation of "chih" as "meaning" and his related elaboration of Kung-sun Lung's ideas are hardly textually intelligible and perhaps cannot stand philosophical criticism." Chung-Ying Cheng, Inquiries into Classical Chinese Logic, Philosophy East andf West, 15, 1965, p. 211.

  15. ———. 1957. "The Composition of the Gongsuen Long Tzy." Asia Major no. 5:147-183.

    Revised reprint with the title The Composition of the Kung-Sun Lung Tzŭ in A. C. Graham, Studies in Chinese Philosophy and Philosophical Literature, Singapore: Institute of East Asian Phllosophies, 1986, pp. 126-166.

    "Here Graham attempts to show that only two essays ("Po ma"'' and "Chih wu"ch) from the Kung-sun Lung Tzu are genuine writings of Kung-sun Lung and his contemporary followers, the rest being forgeries written some six centuries later." Chung-Ying Cheng, "Inquiries into Classical Chinese Logic", Philosophy East andf West, 15, 1965, p. 211.

  16. ———. 1959. "Being in Western Philosophy Compared with Shih/Fei and Yu/Wu in Chinese Philosophy." Asia Major no. 2:79-102.

    Reprinted in A. C. Graham, Studies In Chinese Philosophy & Philosophical Literature, Singapore: Institute of East Asian Phllosophies 1986, pp. 322-359.

  17. ———. 1964. "The Logic of the Mohist "Hsiao-ch'ŭ"." T'oung Pao no. 51:1-54.

  18. ———. 1964. "Two Dialogues in the Kung-sun Lung Tsu: “White Horse” and “Left and Right"." Asia Major no. 11:128-152.

    Revised reprint with the title A First Reading of the "White Horse" in A. C. Graham, Studies in Chinese Philosophy and Philosophical Literature, Singapore: Institute of East Asian Phllosophies, 1986, pp. 167-192.

  19. ———. 1967. "The 'Hard and White' Disputations of the Chinese Sophists." Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London no. 30:358-368.

  20. ———. 1970. "Chuang-tzu's Essay on Seeing Things as Equal." History of Religions no. 9:137-159.

  21. ———. 1972. "Later Mohist Treatises on Ethics and Logic Reconstructed from the Ta - ch'ü chapter of Mo - tzu." Asia Major no. 17:137-189.

  22. ———. 1975. "The Concepts of Necessity and the ‘A Priori’ in Later Mohist Disputation." Asia Major no. 19:163-190.

  23. ———. 1978. Later Mohist Logic, Ethics and Science. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press.

    Reprint Edition 2003 with a new introduction and supplementary bibliography by Christopher Fraser.

  24. ———. 1979. "The Organization of the Mohist Canons." In Ancient China: Studies in Early Civilization, edited by Roy, David T. and Tsien, Tsuen-hsuin, 167-179. Seattle: University of Washington Press.

  25. ———. 1981. Chuang tzu: The Inner Chapters. London: George Allen & Unwin.

    Reprint with a new Foreword by Henry Rosemont Jr. Indianapolis: Hackett 2001.

  26. ———. 1983. "Taoist Spontaneity and the Dichotomy of "Is" and "Ought"." In Experimental Essays on Chuang-tzu, edited by Mair, Victor H., 3-23. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

  27. ———. 1985. Divisions in Early Mohism Reflected in the Core Chapters of the Mo-tzu. Singapore: Institute of East Asian Philosophies Occasional Paper and Monograph Series.

  28. ———. 1986. Yin-Yang and the Nature of Correlative Thinking. Singapore: Institute of East Asian Philosophies.

  29. ———. 1986. "The Disputation of Kung-sun Lung As Argument About Whole and Part." Philosophy East and West no. 36:89-106.

    "It is argued that the three genuine remains of the Chinese sophist Kung-sun Lung (c. 300 b. C.), the "White horse," "Pointing things out" and the "Left and right" dialogue, can for the first time be read as consecutive and coherent when understood in terms, not of class and member, but of whole and part."

  30. ———. 1989. Disputers of the Tao: Philosophical Argument in Ancient China. La Salle, IL: Open Court.

  31. ———. 1989. "The Place of Reason in the Chinese Philosophical Tradition." In The Legacy of China, edited by Dawson, Raymon, 28-56. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

  32. ———. 1989. "Rationalism and Anti-Rationalism in Pre-Buddhist China." In Rationality in Q!uestion: On Eastern and Western Views of Rationality, edited by Biderman, Shlomo and Scharfstein, Ben-Ami, 141-164. Leiden: Brill.

    Reprinted as Chapter 6 in A. C. Graham, Unreason Within Reason: Essays on the Outskirts of Rationality, Illinois: La Salle: Open Court 1992, pp. 97-120.

  33. ———. 1989. "Conceptual Schemes and Linguistic Relativism in Relation to Chinese." Synthesis Philosophica no. 4:713-732.

    Revised version in A. C. Graham, Unreason Within Reason: Essays on the Outskirts of Rationality, LaSalle:

    Open Court 1992, pp. 59-83.

    Reprinted in Bo Mou (ed.), Philosophy of Language, Chinese Language, Chinese Philosophy: Constructive Engagement, Leiden: Brill 2018, pp. 247-268.

  34. ———. 1990. "Three Studies of Kung-sun Lung." In Studies in Chinese Philosophy and Philosophical Literature, 125-215. Albany: State University of New York Press.

  35. ———. 1992. "Chinese Philosophy of Language." In Sprachphilosophie / Philosophy of Language / La philosophie du langage, edited by Dascal, Marcelo, Gerhardus, Dietfried, Lorenz, Kuno and Meggle, Georg, 94-104. Berlin: de Gruyter.

  36. ———. 2006. "Logic and Inference in Indian Philosophy." In Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Second Edition, edited by Borchert, Donald M., 414-417. New York: Thomson Gale.

    The first edition of the Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Paul Edwards, was published in 1967.

    The editor of the article Logic, history of in the first edition was Arthur Norman Prior.

  37. Greniewski, Henrik, and Wojtasiewicz, Olgierd. 1956. "From the History of Chinese Logic." Studia Logica no. 4:241-243.

  38. Hagen, Kurtis. 2002. "Xunzi's Use of Zhengming: Naming as a constructive project." Asian Philosophy: An International Journal of the Philosophical Traditions of the East no. 12:35-51.

  39. ———. 2007. The Philosophy of Xunzi: A Reconstruction. Chicago and LaSalle: Open Court.

  40. Hall, David L., and Ames, Roger T. 1987. Thinking Through Confucius. Albany: State University of New York Press.

    Part V, Section 2: The Sage and the Ordering of Names (cheng ming) pp. 261-283.

  41. ———. 1991. "Against the Greying of Confucius: Responses to Gregor Paul and Michael Martin." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 18:333-347.

  42. ———. 1998. Thinking from the Han: Self, Truth, and Transcendence in Chinese and Western Culture. Albany: State University of New York Press.

    Part II: "Truth" as a Test Case of Cultural Comparison, pp. 103-186.

  43. Han, Xiaoqiang. 2009. "Maybe There Are No Subject-Predicate Sentences in Chinese." Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy no. 8:277-287.

  44. ———. 2012. "The Happy Fish of the Disputers." Asian Philosophy no. 22:239-256.

    Abstract: "The happy fish episode from the outer chapters of the Zhuangzi poses enormous difficulty for interpreters. While it may appear to surprisingly resemble the dialectic in Western philosophy, any attempt to analyse it in terms of the patterns of inference familiar to the West is often frustrated by the ostensible queerness that defies such treatment. The following examination of the dialogue in the episode is intended to address the difficulty and to provide a reasoned explanation for both the surface resemblance and apparent queerness. I suggest that the dialogue becomes perfectly intelligible, if it is read against the backdrop of the disputations practiced in ancient China. My contention is that the real purpose of the dialogue is to expose the fundamental unreliability of the logic of the disputers by means of the logic itself."

  45. Hans-Georg, Möller. 2000. "Zhuangzi's Fishnet Allegory: A Text-Critical Analysis." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 27:489-502.

  46. Hansen, Chad. 1975. "Ancient Chinese Theories of Language." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 2:245-283.

    "Four presupposed philosophical attitudes toward language are taken to characterize the major Schools of the pre-Han period. These are: 1) emotivism, 2) distinction marking -- the view that language and names, in their descriptive function, divide reality (or the Tao) into parts roughly analogous to distributive individuals, 3) conventionalism, and 4) behavioral nominalism -- that most or all "ordinary" thinking consists of entertaining names or strings of names (sentences). No clear reference to abstract ideas, classes, senses, platonic universals, etc., is found in this period nor is any necessary in understanding and interpreting the major thinkers of the period."

  47. ———. 1976. "Mass Nouns and "A white horse is not a horse"." Philosophy East and West no. 26 (2):189-209.

    "The most famous paradox in Chinese philosophy, Kung-sun Lung's "White horse not horse" has been taken as evidence of Platonism, Aristotelian essentialism, class logic, etc., in ancient Chinese thought. I argue that a nominalistic interpretation utilizing the notion of "stuffs" (mass objects) is a more plausible explanation of the dialogue. It is more coherent internally, more consistent with Kung-sun Lung's other dialogues, and the tradition of Chinese thought which is usually regarded as nominalistic. The interpretation is also strongly suggested by striking parallels between all Chinese classificatory nouns and English mass nouns."

  48. ———. 1981. "Linguistic Skepticism in the Lao Tzu." Philosophy East and West no. 31:321-336.

  49. ———. 1983. Language and Logic in Ancient China. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

  50. ———. 1985. "Chinese Language, Chinese Philosophy and "Truth"." Journal of Asian Studies no. 44:491-519.

  51. ———. 1987. "Classical Chinese Philosophy as Linguistic Analysis." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 14:309-330.

  52. ———. 1989. "Mo-Tzu: Language and Utlitarianism." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 16:355-380.

  53. ———. 1992. A Daoist Theory of Chinese Thought: A Philosophical Interpretation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  54. ———. 1993. "Chinese Ideographs and Western Ideas." The Journal of Asian Studies no. 52:373-399.

  55. ———. 2001. "How Chinese Thought “Shapes” Western Thought." In The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Vol. 12 Intecultural Philosophy, edited by Dawson, Stephen and Iwasawa, Tomoko, 25-40. Charlottesville, Virginia: Philosophy Documentation Center.

    Abstract: "I begin this paper with some autobiographical reflections of my own journey in Chinese languages and philosophy not only in order to demonstrate how Chinese philosophy can change one’s attitudes toward Western philosophy, but also to suggest that the shift in philosophical perspective that occurs—when viewed through a Chinese lens—is reasonable.

    The second half of this paper consists of interpretative hypotheses about the content of Chinese philosophy vis-à-vis the West. I reflect more specifically how the different structure of the Chinese language seems to have worked in Chinese philosophical reflection and contrast that with the way intentional idioms did in Western philosophy. Looking mainly at theory of language, the key similarity between the two traditions is expressed in the current “pragmatic” view that “meaning” is irreducibly normative. The differences that attend to this formulation between Chinese and Western thought will also be discussed."

  56. ———. 2003. "Mohism: Later (Mo Jia, Mo Chia)." In Encyclopedia of Chinese Philosophy, edited by Cua, Antonio S., 461-469. New York: Routledge.

    "We use “later Mohists” to refer to the wing of the school of Mozi whose central work is known as the Mohist Canon. This and two later writings make up Chapters 40–45 of the Mozi. Some accounts also refer to these thinkers as neo-Mohists or dialectical Mohists.

    They focused on theory of language, though their writings also contain fragments on ethics and embryonic scientific reflections on economics, geometry, and optics.

    Traditional scholars sometimes include them in a pseudo school called the “school of names”—a cluster of thinkers who analyzed names (ming) in conflicting ways. Their reconstructed motivations reflect three differing trends in social political thought: Confucianism, Mohism, and Daoism. The usual additional members of this school included Gongsun Long and Hui Shi.

    The later Mohist Canon was continuously extant in library collections. However, a freak textual accident rendered it virtually unintelligible, and traditional Confucian orthodoxy effectively lost all access to its content. Its importance came to light only in comparatively modern times. Rescuing the text rekindled a long-lost interest in Chinese theories of language and revealed hitherto unappreciated links with the thought of Xunzi, Laozi, and Zhuangzi. Confucian orthodoxy, however, still tends to treat their sophisticated linguistic theories as “un-Chinese.” (p. 461)

  57. ———. 2003. "The Relatively Happy Fish." Asian Philosophy: An International Journal of the Philosophical Traditions of the East no. 12:145-164.

    Abstract: "Zhuangzi and Hui Shi’s discussion about whether Zhuangzi knows ‘fish’s happiness’ is a Daoist staple. The interpretations, however, portray it as humorous miscommunication between a mystic and a logician. I argue for a fine inferential analysis that explains the argument in a way that informs Zhuangzi philosophical lament at Hui Shi’s passing. It also reverses the dominant image of the two thinkers. Zhuangzi emerges as the superior dialectician, the clearer, more analytic epistemologist. Hui Shi’s arguments betray his tendency (manifest elsewhere) to misstate the conclusions of their shared relativism leading him but not Zhuangzi to intuitive mysticism."

  58. ———. 2003. "Philosophy of Language." In Encyclopedia of Chinese Philosophy, edited by Cua, Antonio S., 569-575. New York: Routledge.

    "Theory of language is a key part of classical Chinese thought. It provided the crucial insights that informed the original, indigenous philosophy of China. It shaped discussions of metaphysics, moral psychology, normative and applied ethics, and political theory. Classical debates about language produced progressively more tenable theories whose surprising distinctiveness reflects features of Chinese language.

    Partly because these pre-Han theories of language represent a high-water mark and the most rigorously developed thought, this article will focus only on them.

    Comparatively crude linguistic theory characterized the philosophical “dark age” that followed. The break in the transmission of reflective analysis accompanied a substitution of superstitious and manipulative religious cosmology for philosophy. A countervailing trend produced a scholastic Confucianism that dominated Chinese thinking until early modern times."


    "The original Chinese theories have many interesting background assumptions about language. First, they seldom remarked on the use of written characters, probably regarding these as a normal way of writing.

    Their use did not incline writers to draw strong distinctions between writing and speaking. Key terms like ming (names) and yan (language, words) seem to function much as our English translations do, i.e., referring to abstract types of which both written or spoken items are tokens. Modern Chinese distinguishes between wen (literature) and hua (speech)." (è. 569)

  59. ———. 2007. "Prolegomena to Future Solutions to 'White-Horse not Horse'." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 34:473-491.

  60. Harbsmeier, Christoph. 1989. "Marginalia Sino-Logica." In Understanding the Chinese Mind. The Philosophical Roots, edited by Allinson, Robert E., 59-83. New York: Oxford University Press.

  61. ———. 1991. "The Mass Noun Hypothesis and the Part-Whole Analysis of the White Horse Dialogue." In Chinese Texts and Philosophical Contexts: Essays dedicated to Angus C. Graham, edited by Rosemont Jr., Henry, 49-66. La Salle: Open Court.

  62. ———. 1998. Science and Civilisation in China. Volume 7 Part I: Language and Logic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    General Editor: Joseph Needham.

  63. ———. 2009. "On the Very Notions of Language and of the Chinese Language." Histoire Épistémologie Langage no. 31:143-161.

  64. ———. 2011. "A Reading of the Guōdiàn 郭店 Manuscript Yǔcóng 語叢1 as a Masterpiece of Early Chinese Analytic Philosophy and Conceptual Analysis." Studies in Logic no. 4:3-56.

  65. Hearne, James William. 1976. "A Critical Note on the Cheng-Swain Interpretation of the Chih Wu Lun." Philosophy East and West no. 26:225-228.

  66. ———. 1980. Classical Chinese as an Instrument of Deduction, University of California, Riverside.

    Unpublished Ph.D thesis available at Pro Quest Dissertation Express ref. number 8024984.

  67. ———. 1985. "Formal Treatments of the Chih Wu Lun." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 12:419-427.

  68. Ho, Chien-hsing. 2013. "One Name, Infinite Meanings: Jizang’s Thought on Meaning and Reference." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 39:436-452.

  69. ———. 2020. "Paradoxical Language in Chan Buddhism." In Dao Companion to Chinese Philosophy of Logic, edited by Fung, Yiu-ming, 389-404. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

    "Chinese Chan or Zen Buddhism is renowned for its improvisational, atypical, and perplexing use of words. In particular, the tradition’s encounter dialogues, which took place between Chan masters and their interlocutors and are recorded in its koan (“public case”) literature, abound in puzzling, astonishing, and paradoxical ways of speaking. In this chapter, we are concerned with Chan’s use of paradoxical language.

    In philosophical parlance, a linguistic paradox comprises the confluence of opposite or incongruent concepts in a way that runs counter to our common sense and ordinary rational thinking.1 One naturally wonders about Chan masters’ rationales for their use of paradox. There are also concerns about whether the use violates the logical law of noncontradiction to the effect that nothing can be both P and not-P all over in the same way at the same time." (p. 389)

  70. Hou, Richard W. T., and Wang, Linton. 2020. "When the Other‐Mind Skepticism Encounters the Happy Fish." The Philosophical Forum no. 51:127-142.

    Abstract: "In this paper, we reconstruct the debate between Zhuangzi 莊子 and Hui Shi 惠施 that took place on the bridge over the Hao River 濠水 as a substantive debate concerning the epistemic other-mind skepticism according to which no one mind knows the mental states of the other. We demonstrate how this reconstruction leads to substantive conclusions of the viability of Hui Shi’s position in particular and of the other-mind skepticism in general. This demonstration is accomplished by means of the contemporary philosophical development regarding, for example, whether asserting a proposition implies that the asserter knows the proposition, whether the closure principle of epistemic logic should be held, and whether knowing something is a mental state. We hold that this debate’s resolution is substantively entangled with contemporary philosophical concerns."

  71. Hu, Shih. 1922. The Development of the Logical Method in Ancient China. Shangai: Oriental Book Company.

    Second edition: New York, Paragon Book Reprint Corp., 1963.

  72. Huang, Chu-Ren. 2015. "Notes on Chinese grammar and ontology: the endurant-perdurant dichotomy and Mandarin D-M compounds." Lingua Sinica no. 1:1-22.

    Abstract: "Y. R. Chao’s (1955) ‘Notes on Chinese Grammar and Logic’ illustrated how logical relations are encoded in Chinese Grammar and his Chinese grammar (Chao 1968) introduced the grammatical category of Measure (M) in Determiner-Measure (D-M) Compounds. Subsequent studies of Chinese typically adopt the general linguistic term of classifier (Aikenvald 2003) and either refer to Chao’s M as a classifier (e.g. Li and Thompson 1981) or assume that it can be further subdivided into two categories: classifiers and measure words (Tai 1994). Many later studies tried to account for the classifiers/measure words contrast via semantic or syntactic tests without reaching a definite conclusion. This paper adopts and merges two lines of Chao’s research to show that the ontological concept of endurant vs. perdurant is elegantly instantiated in Chinese grammar, and by the category of M in particular. By doing so I hope to follow Y. R. Chao’s (1955) giant leap in studying logical relations in Chinese and to take the further step of exploring the significance of the Chinese language for ontological studies, including issues such as whether Quality should be ontologically dependent on entities or instead subsumed by them."


    Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. 2003. Classifiers: A typology of noun categorization devices. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Chao, Yuen Ren. 1955. Notes on Chinese grammar and logic. Philosophy East and West 5(1): 31–41.

    Chao, Yuen Ren. 1968. A grammar of spoken Chinese. Berkeley: University of California Press.

    Li, Charles N, and Sandra A Thompson. 1981. Mandarin Chinese: A functional reference grammar. Berkeley: University of California Press.

    Tai, James H-Y. 1994. Chinese classifier systems and human categorization. In In honor of William S.-Y. Wang: Interdisciplinary

    studies on language and language change, ed. Matthew Y Chen and Ovid JL Tzeng, 479–494. Taipei: Pyramid Press.

  73. Im, Manyul. 2007. "Horse-Parts, White-Parts, and Naming: Semantics, Ontology and Compound Terms in the White Horse Dialogue." Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy no. 6:167-185.

  74. Indraccolo, Lisa. 2009. Gongsun Long and the Gongsun Longzi: authorship and textual variation in a multilayered text, Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia.

    Unpublished dissertation.

    Abstract: "The present work aims at shading new light on the structure and content of the Gongsun Longzi, focusing in particular on the so-called “original chapters”, those who are considered more truthful to an hypothetical original formulation – written and/or oral – of the topics discussed, the Baima Lun and the Zhiwu Lun. After taking into consideration the pseudo-historical figure of the putative author, the persuader Gongsun Long, an analysis of the overall structure of the text is provided, comprehending an accurate study of textual variants existing between the two most ancients versions available of the received text (the Shuofu and the Daozang edition). Finally, an exhaustive treatment of the philosophical contents of the Baima Lun and Zhiwu Lun, accompanied with a commented translation, concludes the work."

  75. ———. 2016. "The "White Horse", the "Three-Legged Chicken", and Other Paradoxes in Classical Chinese Literature." Antiquorum Philosophia: A International Journal no. 10:67-88.

    "According to pre-imperial and early imperial Classical Chinese received literature (ca. 4th cent. b.c.e. - 2nd cent. c.e.), paradoxes and language jokes seem to have been widespread in early Chinese rhetorical practice. Such stratagems are part of a rich shared repertoire mastered by the persuaders of the time that also includes narrative anecdotes, didactic stories, maxims, and authoritative quotes drawn from the most revered texts of antiquity. These diferent kinds of materials mostly had a rhetorical function. They were conveniently quoted to illustrate or strengthen a particular point in a discussion, or to allude obliquely to an implicit message or moral teaching by establishing meaningful connections between the tradition and the contemporary situation in an analogical way.

    Despite the apparent success paradoxical statements enjoyed at the time, only a handful have been preserved and handed down. Some of the most famous arguments that have been transmitted are discussed at length in individual texts that later came to be included in the Gongsun Longzi 公孫龍子(Master Gongsun Long), a composite collection of heterogeneous materials including dialogues and short treatises. However, in most cases Classical Chinese paradoxes survive only in the form of dry and rather enigmatic lists of obscure sentences or ‘theses’ deprived of any further extra-textual information, nor any proper explanation. These materials are mostly – though not exclusively – associated with a group of thinkers, (in)famous for being skilled in the art of rhetoric, the so-called Logicians." (p. 67)

  76. ———. 2017. "The ‘White Horse is Not Horse’ Debate." Philosophy Compass no. 12:1-11.

    Abstract: "The so‐called “white horse is not horse” (bái mǎ fēi mǎ 白馬非馬) debate, or “white horse” (bái mǎ白馬) dialogical argument, is beyond doubt the most famous case of argumentation (biàn辯) in the history of Classical Chinese philosophy. The somewhat disorienting statement at the center of this debate is discussed at length by two anonymous fictive characters, a persuader and their opponent, in the ‘Báimǎ lùn’ 白馬論(Disquisition on White and Horse). The ‘Báimǎ lùn’ usually appears as the first chapter in the received text Gōngsūn Lóngzǐ 公孫龍子(Master Gongsun Long). The Gōngsūn Lóngzǐ is a composite collection of heterogeneous materials in six chapters.

    The collection includes an anecdotal preface, three partially incomplete and/or corrupted dialogues, and two short and extremely intricate treatises. In particular, the dialogues included in the collection are structured in a fairly similar way and focus on what have been defined as paradoxes or sophisms belonging to the repertoire of a rather loose group of thinkers, the so‐called Logicians or Chinese “Sophists” (míngjiā名家, literally “experts on names”), allegedly active during the Warring States period (475–221 B.C.E.)."

  77. ———. 2020. "Argumentation (Bian 辯)." In Dao Companion to Chinese Philosophy of Logic, edited by Fung, Yiu-ming, 171-180. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

    "In Classical Chinese polemico-philosophical texts, argumentation is often understood as one of the two poles in a pair of binary opposites together with its dialectical counterpart, the technique of persuasion (shui 說).(3) Despite the fact that no proper handbook nor manual on Classical Chinese rhetoric has been handed down, it is still possible to claim with a certain degree of certainty that argumentation and persuasion are two opposite, though complementary and closely interconnected skills that a persuader has to acquire and master as part of their repertoire." (p. 172)

    (3) Crump 1964, esp. 6–7, 100; Kroll 1985–86: 126.


    Crump, James I., Jr. 1964. 戰國策 Intrigues: Studies of the Chan-kuo Ts’e. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.

    Kroll, Jurij L. 1985–86. “Disputation in Ancient Chinese Culture.” Early China 11–12: 119–145.

  78. Jiang, Xinyan. 1992. "The Law of Non-Contradiction and Chinese Philosophy." History and Philosophy of Logic no. 13:1-14.

  79. ———. 2013. "Chinese Dialectical Thinking—the Yin Yang Model." Philosophy Compass no. 8:438-446.

    Abstract: "The yin yang model of thinking is most essential to the Chinese cosmology, ontology and outlook on life. This paper is a systematic discussion of such a dialectical way of thinking and its significance.

    It starts with investigating the origin and the meaning of terms ‘‘yin’’ and ‘‘yang’’, and explains the later developed yin yang doctrine; it then shows how greatly and profoundly the yin yang model of thinking has influenced Chinese philosophy and Chinese character. It concludes that Chinese naturalistic, dialectical, and optimistic attitudes toward the world and life are all based on the yin yang model of thinking and that the yin yang doctrine is the starting point for anyone to understand Chinese people and their philosophies."

    The author's name for this article was mistakenly printed as "Xinyan Xinyan" when it was published.

  80. Jiang, Xiangdong. 2020. "A New Interpretation of ‘Baimalun’ (Discourse on White and Horse)." In The Gongsun Longzi and Other Neglected Texts: Aligning Philosophical and Philological Perspectives, edited by Suter, Rafael, Indraccolo, Lisa and Behr, Wolfgang, 289-308. Berlin: De Gruyter.

    "The lack of a theory of knowledge or epistemology in traditional Chinese culture has resulted in a severely inadequate understanding of the pre-Qín “School of Names” (míngjiā 名家) for over two millennia. In view of this shortcoming, I try to reinterpret the Gōngsūn Lóngzǐ 公孫龍子precisely from the perspective of a theory of knowledge. The scope of the present chapter is limited to the discussion of ‘Báimǎlùn’ (Discourse on White and Horse; henceforth BML): the first part consists of an annotation of the original text, the second part concentrates on its theoretical gist, and the third part presents my comments and evaluation of other scholars’ interpretations." (p. 289, a note omitted)

  81. Jiang, Xinyan. 2020. "Contradiction." In Dao Companion to Chinese Philosophy of Logic, edited by Fung, Yiu-ming, 129-142. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

    "In ancient Chinese philosophy, although the law of non-contradiction is acknowledged in some way by some Chinese philosophers such as Han Fei 韓非and Moists,(7) the majority of Chinese thinkers seem to even have never paid attention to it, not alone treated it as the most basic principle of logic. Moreover, some paradoxical propositions that well fit “s is P and not-P” are asserted and even taken for granted by some Chinese philosophers." (p. 130)


    "Although, from a pure logical point of view, “s cannot be P and not-P” is true, it is an abstraction that does not take the context of the utterance and multidimension of things into consideration. On the contrary, a proposition like “s is P and not-P,” though paradoxical, reflects reality better since dialectical relations present in everything and everywhere. In short, Chinese dialectical thinking not onlyviolates none of laws of Aristotelian formal logic such as that of non-contradiction, but also captures and highlights real dialectical relations in the universe and life that the latter does not." (p. 131)

    (7) Some scholars have argued that the law of non-contradiction has been explicitly recognized and formulated in classical Chinese philosophical writing. For more details, see Cheng 1971: 226–27.


    Cheng, Chung-ying. 1971. “Aspects of Classical Chinese Logic.” In International Philosophical Quarterly 11.2: 213–235.

  82. Jin, Chunlan. 2020. Textual Patterns of the Eight-Part Essays and Logic in Ancient Chinese Texts. Singapore: Springer.

  83. Johnston, Ian. 2000. "Choosing the Greater and Choosing The Lesser. A Translation and Analysis of the Daqu and Xiaoqu Chapters of the Mozi." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 27:375-407.

    Da Qu = “Big Selection”; Xiao Qu = “Small Selection”.

  84. ———. 2004. "The Gongsun Longzi: A Translation and an Analysis of Its Relationship to Later Mohist Writings." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 31:271-295.

  85. Johnston, Ian, and Wang, Ping, eds. 2019. The Mingjia & Related Texts: Bilingual Edition. Hong Kong: The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press.

    Translated and Annotated by Ian Johnston and Wang Ping.

  86. ———. 2020. "Notes on the Relationship between the Gōngsūn Lóngzǐ and the Dialectical Chapters of the Mòzǐ." In The Gongsun Longzi and Other Neglected Texts: Aligning Philosophical and Philological Perspectives, edited by Suter, Rafael, Indraccolo, Lisa and Behr, Wolfgang, 45-85. Berlin: De Gruyter.

    "The Gōngsūn Lóngzǐ (GSLZ) is the only surviving pre-Qín text attributed to a member of the Míngjiā 名家 (“School of Names”), as defined by Sīmǎ Qiān 司馬 遷n the Shǐjì 史記nd subsequently catalogued in the bibliographical chapter of the Hàn Shū 漢書.(1) Following A. C. Graham’s 1957 paper, the view that approximately two and two-thirds of the five non-biographical chapters in the GSLZ are later forgeries has become widely accepted in the West, but it seems to have gained little or no traction among Chinese scholars.(2) The dialectical chapters of the Mòzǐ 墨子 (40–45, namely ‘Canons’ and ‘Explanations’ A and B,

    and the Greater and Lesser Choosings) contain a substantial amount of material on the issues examined in the GSLZ and related matters." (p. 45)


    "The aim of the present chapter is to summarize past and current views on the relationship between the two texts, focusing particularly on the work of the four Chinese scholars referred to above. After a brief consideration of the chronology of the Míngjiā in the pre-Qín 秦period and of the terms Míngjiā and Xíngmíngjiā 刑/形名家, each of the chapters of the GSLZ will be dealt with in turn, looking at corresponding material in the Later Mohist chapters. The order of the GSLZ chapters will follow that given by Cheng Chung-ying.(4)" (pp. 45-46, a note omitted)

    (1) Shǐjì [Records of the Grand Historian] 130, vol. 10: 3288–3292; Hàn Shū [Book of Han] 30, vol. 6: 1736 –1737.

    (2) See Féng 2000: 8–24 and Wang Ping and Ian Johnston, “The Gongsun Longzi: A Historical Overview” in this volume.

    (4) See Cheng 1997.


    Cheng, Chung-ying (1997): “The Philosophical Significance of Gongsun Long: A New Interpretation of Theory of Zhi as Meaning and Reference”. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 24.2: 139–177.

    Féng Yàomíng 馮耀明 [Fung Yiu-ming] (2000): Gōngsūn Lóngzǐ公孫龍子. Táiběi臺北: Sānmín Chūbǎnshè 三民出版社.

  87. Kao, Kung-yi, and Obenchain, Diane. 1975. "Kung-sun Lung's Chih Wu Lun and Semantics of Reference and Predication." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 2:285-324.

  88. Kroll, Jurij L. 1985-86. "Disputation in Ancient Chinese Culture." Early China no. 11-12:118-145.

    Abstract: "The Warring States, Ch'in, and Han periods witnessed a remarkable growth in the influence of the arts of disputation and rhetoric on the lives of the ancient Chinese. Disputation affected the form and content of philosophical arguments, provided common forms for communication between various thinkers and schools of thought, and, mainly during the Han dynasty, contributed to the processes of ideological synthesis. Along with rhetoric (as represented in the Chan-kuo ts'e) , disputation also helped define the style and nature of a wide variety of other literary endeavors, especially the Fu and historiographical works of Han times. Debate and argumentation came to play a central role in how the society and government of the time resolved difficulties and determined proper policy. In what follows I both chart the course of this development and outline some of its causes." (p. 118, notes omitted)

  89. Kurtz, Joachim. 2001. "Coming to Terms with 'Logic': The Naturalization of an Occidental Notion in China." In New Term for New Ideas. Western Knowledge and Lexical Change in Late Imperial China, edited by Lackner, Michael, Amelung, Iwo and Kurtz, Joachim, 147-176. Leiden: Brill.

    Also published in: Susan Deacy, Alexandra Villing (eds.), Athena in the Classical World, Leiden: Brill 2001, pp. 147-176.

  90. ———. 2010. "Matching Names and Actualities: Translation and the Discovery of "Chinese Logic"." In Mapping Meanings. The Field of New Learning in Late Qing China, edited by Lackner, Michael and Vittinghoff, Natascha, 471-505. Leiden: Brill.

  91. ———. 2011. The Discovery of Chinese Logic. Leiden: Brill.

  92. Kwan, Tze-wan. 2011. "Abstract Concept Formation in Archaic Chinese Script Forms Some Humboldtian Perspectives." Philosophy East and West no. 61:409-452.

  93. Lai, Karyn L. 2008. An Introduction to Chinese Philosophy. Casmbridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Chapter 4: Early Mohist Philosophy 55-70; Chapter 7: The Mingjia and the Later Mohists 111-141.

  94. Lai, Whalen. 1980. "Further Developments of the Two Truths Theory in China: the Ch'eng-shih-lun Tradition and Chou Yung's 'San-tsung-lun'." Philosophy East and West no. 30:139-161.

    "Instead of the classical two truths theory of Nagarjuna, Chinese Buddhists came up with three truths: reality as real, as empty and as both (i.e., middle). The essay, one in a series, traces the origin to Chou Yung's essay on three Schools (of two truths). There, Chou set up a School that failed to negate provisional reality (the real-ist), the School that succeeded (the empty-ist), the School that realized the real as the empty (the middle-ist). All later theorists, Chih-tsang, Chi-tsang and Chih-i were indebted to this essay painstakingly reconstructed here."

  95. ———. 1995. "White Horse not Horse: Making Sense of a Negative Logic." Asian Philosophy: An International Journal of the Philosophical Traditions of the East no. 5:59-74.

  96. ———. 1997. "Kung-sun Lung on the Point of Pointing: The Moral Rhetoric of Names." Asian Philosophy: An International Journal of the Philosophical Traditions of the East no. 7:47 – 58.

  97. ———. 2003. "Gongsun Long (Kung-sun Lung)." In Encyclopedia of Chinese Philosophy, edited by Cua, Antonio S., 270-271. New York: Routledge.

    "Gongsun Long (b. 380 B.C.E.) is considered a member of the school of names. A logician or sophist, he is best-known for a theoretical essay called “Pointing and Thing” and for his thesis “white horse is not horse.”

    Xunzi (fl. 298–238) accused him of abusing names to the extent of creating havoc: since a horse with the color white is very much a horse, Gongsun was twisting words and flying in the face of what is obvious when he said that it is not. A number of modern scholars, however, have come to Gongsun Long’s defense." (p. 270)


    "In classical China, logical debates on name and reality were also ethical debates. Logic aside, Gongsun Long has a moral agenda. Coming after Yang Zhu and Mozi, he sided more with Yang and less with Mozi.

    He safeguards the sanctity of the self by showing how each of us (as X) is distinct and valuable by virtue of not being like any other (any non-X). He doubts the reality of the Mohist “whole”; we cannot point to the whole. Thus we find him preaching “nonaggression” (against any party), but not “universal love” (for all).

    The reason is that to love X and benefit X, one must not love and not benefit a non-X. Since loving all leaves none not to love, loving all amounts to benefiting none. In this, Gongsun Long was the reverse of Hui Shi, the other logician, who sided with the whole and extended Mohist love to its maximum, to loving all things generously." (p. 271)

  98. ———. 2003. "Hui Shi (Hui Shih)." In Encyclopedia of Chinese Philosophy, edited by Cua, Antonio S., 309-311. New York: Routledge.

    "Hui Shi (380–305 B.C.E.), one of the two major logicians of the school of names, was the chief minister to King Hui of Wei. Ideologically, Hui was the reverse of the logician Gongsun Long but was a like-minded friend of Zhuangzi, who mourned when Hui died.

    Whereas Gongsun Long was known for “separating hard and white,” Hui Shi was remembered for “equalizing semblance and dissemblance.” Gongsun had uncovered very clear, logical differences (X is not like non-X); Hui Shi would reverse or erase them. As scholars of names (ming), they had both rejected the correspondence theory of language, which assumes that the name “horse” describes the animal horse (i.e., is a sign serving as a direct reference); instead, they chose to explore a sign pointing to or networking with other signs (intralinguistic sense). But Gongsun Long came up with a good logic of sense, while Hui Shi exposed that as the “non-sense” of logic." (p. 309)

  99. Lange, Marc. 1989. "Hui Shih’s Logical Theory of Descriptions: A Philosophical Reconstruction of Hui Shih’s Ten Enigmatic Arguments." Monumenta Serica. Journal of Oriental Studies no. 38:95-114.

  100. Lau, Dim Cheuk. 1953. "Some Logical Problems in Ancient China." Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society no. 53:189-204.

  101. ———. 1963. "On Mencius' Use of the Method of Analogy in Argument." Asia Major no. 10:173-194.

    Reprinted as Appendix 5 in Mencius, Translated with an Introduction and Notes by D. C. Lau, Revised edition London: Penguin 2003, pp. 253-263. (Original edition 1970).

  102. Leong, Wai Ch'un. 2015. "The Semantic Concept of Truth in Pre-Han Chinese Philosophy." Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy no. 14:55-74.

  103. Leslie, Donald. 1964. Argument by Contradiction in Pre-Buddhist Chinese Reasoning. Canberra: Australian National University.

    "The author shows that the Taoists, the Confucians, and the Mohists in the pre-Chin period used the principle of contradiction and the principle of the excluded middle in their philosophical writings." Chung-Ying Cheng, Inquiries into Classical Chinese Logic, Philosophy East andf West, 15, 1965, p. 213.

  104. Li, Chenyang. 1999. The Tao Encounters the West: Explorations in Comparative Philosophy. Albany: State University of New York Press.

    Chapter 3: Chapters Language: Pragmatic versus Semantic, pp. 63-87.

  105. ———. 2021. "Truth in Chinese Philosophy. A Commentary on Bo Mou's Semantic-Truth Approaches in Chinese Philosophy." Comparative Philosophy no. 12:134-146.

    "Studies of Chinese philosophy have been overwhelmingly on ethics and social philosophy. Bo Mou’s book is significant because it is squarely on semantic truth, a topic which has seldomly been brought up in studying Chinese philosophy (Mou 2019).

    That alone makes his book worthy of our attention. Mou’s book contains many insights and breaks new grounds for further study. His pluralist account of semantic truth in Chinese philosophy is highly original and pioneering in the field. Here I will not

    attempt to make a comprehensive review or assessment of this important book. Instead, I focus on two points, for the sake of further explorations on the topic. The first is on the general topic of truth in Chinese philosophy. While I do not deny that there is

    semantic truth in Chinese philosophy, I believe the main orientation of Chinese philosophy on truth is pragmatic, in that the concept of truth is understood and functions in the context of the human condition; the nature and the value of truth lies with its

    service for the good life. Second, I will offer an alternative to Bo Mou’s characterization of Xun Zi’s concept of truth and show why Mou cannot dismiss a broadly characterized pragmatic interpretation of Xun Zi’s epistemology. In this commentary, I will try to quote Mou’s relevant passages in their entirety to ensure as much accuracy as possible in presenting his argument" (p. 134)


    Mou, Bo (2019), Semantic-Truth Approaches in Chinese Philosophy: A Unifying Pluralist Account (New York/London: Lexington Books).

  106. Li, Xiankun. 1998. "Why Gonsung Long (Kungsun Long) Said "White horse in not horse"." In In the World of Signs. Essays in Honour of Professor Jerzy Pelc, edited by Jadacki, Jacek Juliusz and Strawinski, Witold, 215-220. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

    "From ther above discussion, we can make the following conclusions:

    (a) Gongsun Long’s theory is a theory of semiosis. He observed the differences among symbols that are used in the process of human speech. So the problems he discussed are matters of metalanguage, not object language.

    (b) Gongsun Long’s use of the word FEI „is not” can only be interpreted as set equality, which corresponds to the English phrase „is not equal to”. It does not indicate subset-superset relationship between sets.

    (c) Gongsun Long was the first scholar in ancient China to use analytic methods fully to treat linguistic and philosophical phenomena. His proposition „White horse is not horse” is not a petty intellectual game that goes against common sense. On the contrary, it is a very insightful theoretical discovery.

    We may achieve a better understanding of Gongsun Long’s arguments by looking at his works as a whole (only six texts have been preserved). In his other texts, he explicitly stated the purpose of his work: through this kind of discussion, he intended to clarify the issues on the relationship between words and the things that are represented by those words. He believed that everything would be in place if they were named appropriately. He asked people to pay attention to this name-substance relationship and be cautious in naming things. In „A Discourse on White Horse”, he exemplified his idea by analyzing the relationship between „horse” and „white horse” in great depth. In so doing, he made a great contribution to his own time." (pp. 219-220)

  107. Li, Yu. 2015. What is N P? - Interpretation of a Chinese paradox white horse is not horse. Arxiv.org: 1-9.

    Abstract: "The notion of nondeterminism has disappeared from the current definition of N P, which has led to ambiguities in understanding N P, and caused fundamental diculties in studying the relation P versus N P. In this paper, we question the equivalence of the two definitions of N P the one defining N P as the class of problems solvable by a nondeterministic Turing machine in polynomial time, and the other defining N P as the class of problems verifiable by a deterministic Turing machine in polynomial time, and reveal cognitive biases in this equivalence. Inspired from a famous Chinese paradox white horse is not horse, we further analyze these cognitive biases. The work shows that these cognitive biases arise from the confusion between different levels of nondeterminism and determinism, due to the lack of understanding about the essence of nondeterminism. Therefore, we argue that fundamental diffculties in understanding P versus N P lie firstly at cognition level, then logic level."

    Sigla: N P = Nondeterministic Polynomial time.

  108. Lin, Chung-I. 2011. "Xunzi as a Semantic Inferentialist: Zhengmin, Bian-Shuo and Dao-Li." Dao. A Journal of Comparative Philosophy no. 10:311-340.

    Abstract: "This essay argues that the idea of name-rectification (zheng ming 正名) in the Xunzi can be properly reconstructed as revealing a normative pragmatic semantic theme that linguistic contents embody, and are embedded in, the normative, justificatory

    network, or pattern, of dao li 道理 (proper routes/patterns of norm) which, in turn, is constituted and manifested by social inferential justificatory practices of bian shuo 辯說 (dialectical justification/explanation)."

  109. Linderborg, Otto. 2021. "Patterns of Reasoning Shared Across Cultural Divides: Normative Arguments in the Classical Age of Greece and the Warring States Period of China." Orientalia Suecana no. 70:89-104.

    Abstract: "In this paper, a selection of arguments encountered in a pair of canonical classical Greek and Chinese literary and philosophical works are analyzed and compared. The works in which the passages selected for analysis occur are the Histories of Herodotus and the Fei Gong section in the Mozi. The present research focuses on three respective passages in these canonical classical Greek and Chinese works containing early examples of normative argumentation of an internally critical kind (‘internal critique’). So-called deontic logic is then applied in order to formally analyze the argumentative content of the selected sections. It is shown that each of the Herodotean and Mohist examples of internal critique may be assigned a formally equivalent Chinese vis-à-vis Greek partner. Based on these similarities, the question of the origins of internal critique in the ancient Greek and Chinese cultural spheres is reconsidered."

  110. Liou, Kia-hway. 1965. "The Configuration of Chinese Reasoning." Diogenes no. 13:66-96.

    Translated by Nora McKeon.

  111. Liu, Chuang. 2003. "Ming-Jia (the Logicians) and Zeno: A Comparative Study." In Comparative Approaches to Chinese Philosophy, edited by Mou, Bo, 297-306. Aldershot: Ashgate.

  112. Liu, Fenrong, and Seligman, Jeremy, eds. 2015. History of Logic in China. 5 Questions. Copenhagen: Automatic Press / VIP.

  113. Liu, Fenrong, Seligman, Jeremy, and van Bentham, Johan. 2012. Models of Reasoning in Ancient China. eprints repository software: 1-25.

  114. Liu, Fenrong, Seligman, Jeremy, and van Benthem, Johan. 2011. "The History of Logic in China: An introduction." Studies in Logic no. 4:1-2.

  115. Liu, Fenrong, Seligman, Jeremy, and Zhai, Jincheng, eds. 2024. Handbook of Logical Thought in China. Berlin: Springer.

    To be published in 2024.

    "The Handbook aims to provide a comprehensive review of research on logical thought in China by both Chinese and non-Chinese scholars. It highlights and summarizes important areas of controversy and general agreement, while giving prime importance to clarity of exposition. The title covers Chinese thought on reasoning and argumentation, the influence of non-Chinese logic on Chinese thought, and the systematic aspects of reasoning other than the classical canon of ‘logic’ texts. By bringing together different perspectives, it seeks to provide a multifaceted and comprehensive presentation on this rich and sometimes perplexing phenomenon."

  116. Liu, Fenrong, and Yang, Wujing. 2010. "A Brief History of Chinese Logic." Journal of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research no. 27:101-123.

  117. Liu, Fenrong, and Zhang, Jialong. 2008. A Note on Mohist Logic. 1-25.

    Available on line on Academia.edu.

    Abstract: "The paper is an exploration of the old Chinese texts called the Mohist Canons from a modern logical perspective. We mainly explain what the Mohists have contributed to logic in the following aspects: Theory on names, structures of propositions, patterns of reasoning, and theories on disputation and paradoxes. A comparative perspective is taken throughout the investigation. We compare Mohist logic and Western traditional and modern logic. We provide our new interpretations of the issues discussed in the Canons by applying the modern logical theories."

  118. Liu, Fenrong, and Zhang, Jalong. 2010. "New Perspectives on Moist Logic." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 37:605-621.

  119. Liu, Shu-hsien. 1974. "The Use of Analogy and Symblism in Traditional Chinese Philosophy." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 1:313-338.

    "When we review the Chinese history of philosophy, we find that the Chinese did not develop any formal systems of logic. There was a conspicuous lack of discussion of forms of inference, as the Chinese failed to develop anything either like an Aristotelian syllogism or a Nyaya syllogism. The so-called Logicians(1) in ancient China were really dialecticians like the Greek Sophists who were being looked down upon by serious scholars, as Chuang Tzu said of them, “They are able to subdue other people’s mouths, but cannot win their hearts.”(2) This situation, however, does not mean that the Chinese did not pay any attention to the problem of methodology. It is precisely because they were convinced that empty talks would lead us nowhere so they decided to concentrate their effort on finding appropriate expressions for their experience of reality.

    This explains why they made such extensive use of analogies and symbolisms, as these were regarded as the only effective means to approach the Way (Tao), or rather Ultimate Reality understood in a dynamic sense.

    In this article, I would like to contend that as a general trend the Chinese are moving away from an analogical way of thinking toward a symbolic way of thinking through metaphorical expressions. In the following I shall try to outline this development and discuss its significance on the Chinese way of doing philosophy." (p. 313)

    (1) Wing-tsit Chan (trans. and comp.), A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1963, pp. 232-243. Hereafter will be referred to as Chan, Source Book.

    (2) Ibid. p. 233.

  120. Liu, Tisheng. 2020. "A New Interpretation of the Gongsun Longzi’s ‘Zhiwu lun’ (Discourse on Pointings and Things) and ‘Mingshi lun’ (Discourse on Names and Actualities)." In The Gongsun Longzi and Other Neglected Texts: Aligning Philosophical and Philological Perspectives, edited by Suter, Rafael, Indraccolo, Lisa and Behr, Wolfgang, 241-288. Berlin: De Gruyter.

    "The ‘Zhǐwù lùn’ 指物論chapter of the Gōngsūn Lóngzǐ 公孫龍子 is arguably one of the most difficult pre-imperial Chinese texts. The obvious reason for its inaccessibility is its repetitive structure. The central terms, zhǐ 指 (which literally means ‘finger’, but also, in a verbal reading, ‘to point’) and wù 物(‘thing’), together make up for roughly one-quarter of the entire word count. As the treatise itself does not provide any definition for these crucial terms, there have been a great number of extremely divergent interpretations of the meaning of the term zhǐ and an abundance of proposals on its relationship to wù. In spite of this sheer variation of interpretations, there are still more or less clear lines along which they can be classified. The most basic distinction I suggest here is between traditional Chinese approaches and analyses by modern scholars inspired by Western methods. Traditional interpretations attempt to arrive at an analysis of the terms and their relationship on the basis of the inherited pre-Qín masters literature, and thus resort to an autochthonous hermeneutical approach.

    What I call “Western” interpretations, by contrast, base their analyses on relevant theoretical literature from outside China, e.g. on Marxist theories. Since the May Fourth Movement in the late 1910s and the subsequent impact of Western theories, the latter approach has become the dominant interpretive framework. Within both of these broadly defined groups, one can further distinguish various smaller trends with specific features." (p. 241)

  121. Lloyd, Geoffrey E.R. 2007. "Towards a Taxonomy of Controversies and Controversiality: Ancient Greece and China." In Traditions of Controversy, edited by Dascal, Marcelo and Chang, Han-Liang, 3-15. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

    "Following up Marcelo Dascal’s emphasis on the importance of controversy as the locus of critical activity and innovation, and building on his triadic classification of polemics into “discussion”, “dispute” and “controversy” (Dascal 1998b), I shall raise a number of questions concerning the specificities of the controversies for which we have evidence in ancient Greece and China. What typically were the controversies and disputes about? Between whom were they held? Who were the participants, who constituted the audiences, and what are the relations between those two groups? How do the contenders come to agree, if and when they do, to their resolution? What, in the final analysis, is at stake, and for whom?

    There are important similarities, as well as differences, between the controversies and disputes of ancient Greece and China, and (as I argued already in Lloyd 1996) these already tell against any simple thesis of a global psychological contrast between adversarial Greeks and irenic Chinese. Rather, an exploration of the patterns of controversies in these two cultures can throw important light on the implicit and explicit values characteristic of the societies in question and so also on the different ways in which science developed in each." (p. 3)


    Dascal, M. 1998b. “The study of controversies and the theory and history of science”. Science in Context 11: 147–154.

    Lloyd, G.E.R. 1996. Adversaries and Authorities: Investigations into Ancient Greek and Chinese Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  122. López-Astorga, Miguel. 2021. "School of Names and mental possibilities: Is a white horse a horse?" Studii de lingvistică no. 11:167-175.

    Abstract: "According to the ‘white horse’ paradox, a horse that is white is not a horse: it is a white horse, but not a horse. Though logical arguments can be adduced in support of the proposition, people tend to reject the paradox. Individuals often regard a white horse as a horse and therefore usually ignore the arguments from logic. This paper attempts an explanation of their behaviour. The theory of mental models offers a cognitive explanation for the habitual rejection of the paradox. Within this framework, the key is the way that people reason – a way that does not necessarily coincide with logic."

  123. Loy, Hui-chieh. 2003. "Analects 13.3 and the Doctrine of "Corrcting Names"." Monumenta Serica. Journal of Oriental Studies no. 51:19-36.

  124. ———. 2020. "Correcting Names in Early Confucianism." In Dao Companion to Chinese Philosophy of Logic, edited by Fung, Yiu-ming, 329-349. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

    "According to a widely held conventional wisdom, the doctrine of zhèngmíng 正名, “rectification of names”, or perhaps “correcting names”, appears to be central to the tradition that springs from the thought of Confucius (Kǒngzǐ 孔子). But whether zhèngmíng really is central to early Confucianism, what the doctrine itself amounts to remains the subject of continuing controversy.(1) This paper aims to present an account of the zhèngmíng doctrine in Early (i.e., Pre-Imperial) Confucianism, especially as it is presented in the Analects (Lúnyǔ 論語), and secondarily, the “zhèngmíng” essay of the Xúnzǐ (荀子).

    (1) useful collation of traditional opinions on zhèngmíng in the Analects can be found in Liu Zhenghao 劉正浩 1978. See also Makeham 2003: 333–340. Hu Shih 胡適 is likely the source of the modern conventional wisdom—for him, Confucius saw zhèngmíng as “the heart of the problem of social and political reformation,” while “the reform of society” as itself, the “central problem of Confucius”, thus implying that zhèngmíng is central to the thought of Confucius (Hu 1963: 22). This notion, however, probably has much to do with Hu’s idiosyncratic concerns rather than completely based upon an accurate assessment of the tradition.


    Hu, Shih胡適. 1963. The Development of the Logical Method in Ancient China. 2nd ed. New York: Paragon Book Reprint Corp. (Study of Early Chinese Philosophy the author of which is a major twentieth century Chinese thinker in his own right.)

    Liu, Zhenghao 劉正浩. 1978. “An Examination of Kongzi’s zhèngmíng.” Journal of the Kongzi-Mengzi Society 孔孟學報. 36: 157–168. (Useful survey of the traditional opinions on the doctrine of “Correcting Names”.)

    Makeham, John. 2003. Transmitters and Creators: Chinese Commentators and Commentaries on the Analects. Cambridge, MA/London: Harvard University Asia Center.

  125. Lu, Xing. 1998. Rhetoric in Ancient China, Fifth to Third Century, B.C.E.: A Comparison with Classical Greek Rhetoric. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press.

  126. Lucas, Thierry. 1993. "Hui Shih and Kung Sun Lung: An Approach from Contemporary Logic." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 20:211-255.

    "Semantical instruments of contemporary logic are applied to the analysis of Hui Shih's "Ten propositions" and Kung Sun Lung's discourses "On the white horse", "On hard and white", "On indices and things". The notion of logical interpretation is used to clarify the structure of Hui Shih's argument; coupled with the notion of sorted language, it also allows us to show the logical coherence and common structure of Kung Sun Lung's three discourses."

  127. ———. 2005. "Later Mohist Logic, Lei, Classes and Sorts." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 32:349-366.

  128. ———. 2010. "The Logic of Mohist Reasonings; Leis and Structured Sorts." Universitas: Monthly Review of Philosophy and Culture (Taipei) no. 37:65-93.

    Abstract: "It is well-known that some Mohist reasonings of the final portion of the Xiao qu 〈小取〉 are paradoxical: “a robber is a man, but to kill a robber is not to kill a man”. In this paper, we analyze and formalize the different groups of Mohist reasonings using concepts of contemporary western logic: classes, sorts, structured sorts as they appear in the mathematical theory of categories. We solve those paradoxes by using sorts and more generally arrive at the conclusion that those reasonings are based on structured sorts, a notion which, in our opinion, is fundamental to clarify the notion of lei (類)."

  129. ———. 2011. "Basic Concepts of Mohist Logic." Studies in Logic no. 4:82-108.

    Abstract: "The following text has been presented with minor modifications to the colloquium “The History of Logic in China” which took place in Amsterdam on November 24-26, 2010. It will briefly recall the historical and intellectual context of later Mohist Logic and will mainly discuss its basic logical concepts in relation with contemporary logic: disputation; name, object and their relation; proposition; “lèi” (class or sort or kind); inference. Other notions such as a priori, necessary and sufficient condition, quantification, necessity, time, space, infinity, ... will also be mentioned."

  130. ———. 2012. "Why White Horses are not Horses and Other Chinese Puzzles." Logique et Analyse no. 55:185-203.

    "The aim of this paper is on the one hand to remind the Western reader some aporias of Chinese antiquity, and on the other hand to show that a logic of sorts or of types similar to that which has been proposed to explain the relation between categories (in the mathematical sense of the term) and logic brings much light on these aporias. This should be contrasted with older traditional explanations using conventional syllogistics or feeling satisfied with too simple explanations such as the confusion between inclusion and identity. The article is based on preceding papers of mine (see [LUC], [LUCa], [LUCb]), but stresses the basic unity of the solutions which I proposed there, a unity which is probably not apparent to the casual reader and which is shown here by sketching a very simple formal system and its semantics. I apologize for overlappings with some of my previous publications, but it seemed to me that the present paper would be unreadable if I just presented the final part without repeating the basic motivations."


    [LUC ] Lucas Thierry, "Hui Shih and Kong Sun Lung: an approach from contemporary logic", Journal of Chinese Philosophy, 20(2), 1993, pp. 21 1-255.

    [LUCa] Lucas Thierry, "Later Mohist Logic, Lei, Classes and Sorts", Journal of Chinese Philosophy, vol. 32, no 3, 2005, pp. 349-365.

    [LUCb] Lucas Thierry, "The Logic of Mohist reasonings; Leis and structured sorts", Universitas: Monthly Review of Philosophy and Culture (Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C.), vol. 37, no 8, 2010, pp. 65-93.

  131. ———. 2012. "Definitions in the Upper Part of the Moist Canons." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 39:386-403.

    Abstract: "The purpose of this article is to evaluate the Moist Canons from the point of view of logic, as a system of definitions.We concentrate more specifically on the formal organization of the upper part of the Moist Canons.This method leads us to a globally positive evaluation of the system of definitions but also to the less expected conclusion that a few very basic concepts are undefined and form the background of the Moist concrete, realist, and pragmatic philosophical system: ran, to be so; de, to obtain; ming, illumination; zuo, to initiate; and wei, to act."

  132. ———. 2013. "Parallelism in the Early Moist Texts." Frontiers of Philosophy in China no. 8:289-308.

    Abstract: "Parallelism is present everywhere in the early Moist texts: at the syntactic level, at the semantic level, between sentences, between sets of sentences, between argumentative structures. The present article gives many examples of the phenomenon: parallelism of insistence, insistence from top to bottom, insistence from bottom to top, parallelism with symmetry, parallelism involving negation, subcontraries and negation at deeper levels, parallelism of the argumentative structures. Logic is particularly applied to the study of parallelism involving negation. From the point of view of argumentation, it is shown that many of those constructions have an important role in supporting arguments such as: arguments of generalization, a fortiori arguments, arguments

    of exemplarity, consequentialist arguments, arguments by comparison. This study draws the attention to the importance of argumentation in the study of Moism and gives a new light on the argument by parallelism (mou) in the "Xiaoqu": It is a natural extension of what we call "parallelism involving negation," already very common in the early Moist texts."

  133. ———. 2018. "Limits of Logic in Moism." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 45:239-251.

    Abstract: "We are trying to answer the following question, using the distinctions of contemporary logic: why did the Moists stop at some points on their otherwise remarkable way to logic? We argue that they did not explicitly discover negation because of their insistence on linguistic parallelism; they did not recognize logical conjunction nor logical disjunction because of juxtaposition or prefixation; they did not identify the notion of sufficient condition; negation of quantifiers was treated as a problem of extension; their notion of proposition was limited; they discovered some intensionality phenomena but did not explore them very deeply; they insisted more on argumentation than on logic. However our exploration of these limitations shows that the Moists had discovered many logical phenomena and that their attention to the structure of the proposition and to their parallelism reveals a real interest in formal methods."

  134. ———. 2020. "Definitions in Pre-Qin Texts." In Dao Companion to Chinese Philosophy of Logic, edited by Fung, Yiu-ming, 233-249. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

    "With these preliminaries at hand, we will track definitions in a few typical pre-Qin texts and judge them by looking at some of the characteristics which we have hinted at. For the ease of the reader, we present them under four headings, which are natural from a logical point of view:

    1. syntactic questions: Is the definition clearly announced as such? What is the background language and the background theory? Is the definition clear? Is it compact enough?

    2. semantic questions: Is the definition adequate? Is it complete?

    3. relation of the definition with other definitions: Is the definition part of a system of definitions? Is that system free of vicious circles?

    4. pragmatic questions: What is the purpose of the definition?

    In relation with the last question, it is good to remind the reader that pre-Qin thinkers were mainly motivated by ethical and political questions. However, language was an important part of their reflections, in a complex sense, depending from author to author, for which the reader can consult (Willman 2018)." (pp. 235-236)


    Willman, Marshall. 2018. “Logic and Language in Early Chinese Philosophy”. In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2018 Edition). URL = https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2018/entries/chinese-logic-language/

  135. ———. 2020. "The Logical Style of Confucius’ Analects." Frontiers of Philosophy in China no. 15:167-197.

    Abstract: "Considered from a logical point of view, Confucius’ Analects contain many implicit forms of reasoning and argumentation. This is shown first by analyzing the phenomenon of parallelism: direct parallelism is often a way of hinting at a general assertion, whereas anti-parallelism hides dilemmas, generalizations and modal notions of “moral preference.” The Analects also have various types of conditionals, ranging from material implications, to modalized implications, and counterfactual conditionals, which are the germs of implicit reasoning, concluding with a moral recommendation. Analogies are particularly abundant and a presentation of three examples suggests that, beyond their explicative role, they also involve moral recommendations. The implicit logic of The Analects requires an active, albeit unconscious participation of the reader, which could be an important element in explaining the enduring influence of the text."

  136. ———. 2020. "Logical Thought in Mohism and Later Mohism." In Dao Companion to Chinese Philosophy of Logic, edited by Fung, Yiu-ming, 253-283. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

  137. ———. 2020. "Logically Significant Words 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, 313-346. Berlin: De Gruyter.

    "The “School of Names” (Míngjiā 名家) has brought logical considerations into the field of Chinese philosophy. The present contribution aims to give a ‘measure’ of the ‘logicity’ of the texts, more particularly of the texts of the Gōngsūn Lóngzǐ 公孫龍子. The chapter looks at some logically significant words, such as yǒu 有, wú 無, kě 可, fēi 非, bù 不, gù 故, and suǒyǐ 所以, trying to make the analysis as objective as possible. To accomplish this, I pay special attention to the occurrences of these words: their numbers, their immediate contexts, and their non-controversial variations of meaning. I am confident that this type of inquiry brings out some features of the logical structure of the texts of the Gōngsūn Lóngzǐ and demonstrates their similarities and differences. It is hoped that this approach will help to confirm, invalidate, or at least qualify the hypothesis of their different origins." (p. 313)