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. Second part Chm-Fun


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 (Current page)

Bibliography on Language and Logic in Ancient China Gal - Luc

Bibliography on Language and Logic in Ancient China Mae - Z

Studies in English (Chm-Fun)

  1. 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 reprint)


    "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]

  2. ———. 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 reprint)


    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).

  3. ———. 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)

  4. ———. 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 Chinese.

    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)

  5. ———. 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 translation:

    "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)

  6. ———. 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 (Continued).

    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. 143.

  7. ———. 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)]

  8. ———. 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) dialectical chapters.

    (2) Some purely conjectural and far-fetched interpretations of 'similarity and difference’ in the Mohist dialectics will be referred to later.

    [*] 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)

  9. ———. 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)

  10. ———. 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; pp. 325-357.

    "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.

  11. ———. 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)

  12. ———. 2009. Language and Logic in Ancient China: Collected Papers on the Chinese Language and Logic. Warsaw: Polska Akademia Nauk.

    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 Professor Chmielewski.

    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)

  13. 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)

  14. ———. 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. "

  15. 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.

    "In the present essay, I shall do the following. First, I develop further thoughts about Davidson’s view of metaphor. In one respect, Davidson’s conception of metaphor is too narrow. Davidson stresses that a metaphor cannot be paraphrased wholly without remainder.

    But this conception is unnecessary to Davidson’s position, because it easily leads to an essentialist view of metaphor, one that holds that there must be an inherent meaning to metaphor. At the same time, however, Davidson maintains that the way to understand metaphor is through its use, not through the idea of its meaning. This claim liberates us from the narrow conception, which includes what I shall refer to as essentialist conceptions of metaphor. Thus, the second thing I shall do in this essay is to argue against such essentialist conceptions and their application to the understanding of some aspects of Chinese philosophy. I have already discussed one such conception in my earlier essay on the Zhuang-Zi [*], namely, Robert Allinson’s.

    While I shall briefly repeat what I have said there, the main focus of the present paper will be a more extended discussion of the Lakoff and Johnson model. In particular, I shall discuss the application of the model by Edward Slingerland to philosophical texts such as the Zhuang-Zi, the Xun-Zi and the Analects." (p. 230)

    [*] Chong, Kim-chong (2006), “Zhuang Zi and the Nature of Metaphor”, Philosophy East and West 56:3, pp. 370-391.

  16. ———. 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.

    "We mentioned D. C. Lau’s [*] remarks about the indispensable and wide use of the method of argument by analogy for philosophical problems in the fourth and third centuries BCE in China, to the extent that the Mohist Canons deals with it in some detail. There is therefore a history and a context for debates about these problems.

    We have focused in this essay on debates about human nature and the nature of human agency. Someone unfamiliar with the contexts of debate may not be alert to the arguments, thinking perhaps that a particular writer is only giving a lively description with his analogies. For instance, someone who reads Zhuangzi’s fanciful description of the heart-mind in the Qiwulun without an understanding of the Confucian model of the heart-mind as ruler will miss the critical nature of his description. Similarly, there is a critical context for Xunzi’s distinction between capacity and ability as seen in the light of Mencius’s statements about their equivalence in terms of an organic model of the heart-mind." (p. 367)

    [*] Dim Cheuk Lau, "On Mencius' Use of the Method of Analogy in Argument", Asia Major, 10, 1963, pp. 173-194.

  17. 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.

    "To sum up, logical investigations in ancient China achieved excellent results. Chinese logic runs parallel to Greek and to Indian logic, and so is one of the three great traditions of logic in the world. On the other hand, we must recognize that Chinese logic did not develop after the Warring States Period. Hetuvidyā (Indian syllogistic logic) spread to China in the sixth century, but research in hetuvidyā declined before long. The underlying causes of the lack of development of Chinese logic were that the feudal rulers enjoyed cultural autocracy, which strangled the development of logic, and that the Chinese written character is not alphabetic so it is difficult to introduce logical variables in Chinese.

    Classical logic spread to China in the seventeenth century, and modern logic in 1920. Now there is a contingent of modern logicians in China." (p. 575)

  18. Cikoski, John S. 1975. "On Standards of Analogic Reasoning in the Late Chou." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 2:325-357.

    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."

  19. Cua, Antonio S. 1985. Ethical Argumentation: A Study in Hsün Tzu’s Moral Epistemology. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

    "This study is a philosophical reconstruction of an aspect of Hsün Tzu’s ethical theory by way of an attempt to set forth a Confucian conception of argumentation. After presenting a profile of the fundamental elements of ethical argumentation (Chapters 1 and 2), I turn to the problems of ethical reasoning and the use of quasi-definitional formulas for explanation of meaning and enunciation of standards for assessing ethical judgments (Chapter 3). The study concludes with a discussion of Hsün Tzu’s diagnosis of erroneous ethical beliefs, as exemplified in different types of linguistic confusions (Chapter 4)." (Preface, p. XIII)


    "Hsün Tzu’s essay “Rectifying Terms”[*] (cheng-ming pen) is justly considered a work of “great logical interest,”(1) because, in this essay, one finds a remarkably modern concern with such topics as the rationale for having terms, the empirical and pragmatic bases for the classification of terms, the formation of generic and specific terms, the importance of observing established linguistic practices, the necessity of complying with proper standards for the institution and ratification of the uses of language (chih-ming), the nature of argumentative discourse (pien-shuo), and the problems inherent in successful linguistic communication. A careful examination of some passages in other essays also suggests an awareness of the distinction between deductive, inductive, and analogical inferences.” (p. 1, a note omitted)

    (1) Fung Yu-lan, A History of Chinese Philosophy, trans. Derk Bodde (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1952), vol. 1, p. 303.

    [*] Englsih translation in Xunzi. The Complete Text, Translated and with an Introduction by Eric L. Hutton, Princeton: Princeton University Press 2014, pp. Chapter 22: Correct Naming, pp. 236-247.

  20. 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."

  21. 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

    Abstract: "This thesis is an attempt to bring together three main themes: 1.The authorship of the YWz. 2. The renaissance of philosophical activity in Wei-Jin China.And 3. Problems related to the Chinese view of "naming" and the relation of words to things.

    The first part deals exclusively with the dating of the YWz and reaches the conclusion that the beginning of the third century A.D. is the most likely date. Seen against the philosophical background of the period the importance of the YWz is made clear, and the book id shown to be the work of an original and independent philosopher .A comparison is drawn with other books of the time, mainly Wang Bifs LWL, and its theory of "names and shapes" is discussed.This is shown to be a major step in the elucidation of the Confucian dictum on the "correct use of names" and the articulation of the pre-Han "names and actualities" problem.Together with the distinction between names and referers serves to clarify the question of "words and meanings" which leads to an interpretation of Wang Bi's LWL. The third and fourth chapters are translations of the YWz and the LWL respectively."

    YWz = Yin Wenzi

    LWL = Laozi weizhi lilue

  22. 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 text 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)

  23. Dubs, Homer H. 1956. "Y. R. Chao on Chinese Grammar and Logic." Philosophy East and West no. 5:167-168.

    "Professor Y. R. Chao's "Notes on Chinese Grammar snd Logic"(1) demonstrate to Occidental philosophers that much of their logic is merely a restatement of what is implicit in the grammar of the Indo-European languages spoken by these logicians. Since the languages spoken in Europe and America are genetically related, all possess fundamentally similar grammatical characteristics. Hence, Occidental logicians, who know only Indo-European languages, have come to think of these grammatical characteristics as necessary in any logical reasoning. If these logicians had also spoken an African or non-Aryan Asiatic language, they might have reached quite different conclusions." (p. 167)


    "The conclusion appears inescapable that language has played a very large part in philosophy, and that the characteristics of Indo-European languages have been determinativein the formation and development of certain features in symbolic logic and in European philosophy, since thinking follows the patterns of speech and its grammar. How, then, can those who speak only Indo-European languages formulate a philosophy that will avail for non-Indo-EuropeaN speaking peoples?" (P. 168)

    (1) 1n Philosophy East and West, V, No. I (April, 19S5), 31--41.

  24. Duyvendak, J. J. L. . 1924. "Hsün-tzŭ on the Rectification of Names." T'oung Pao no. 23:221-254.

    "The 16th chapter of the work known as Hsün-tzü which forms the 22nd book, is called Cheng-ming- p'ien "On the rectification of names", or, as it might perhaps be better rendered, "On the correct use of terminology"." (p. 221, Chinese terms omitted)


    Hsün-tzü would not have been a Chinese philosopher, had not ethics held his primary interest. Yet, as one of the few attempts to found a Chinese logic, his chapter deserves our attention. More than once, it seems to me, he surprizes us by remarkable definitions. His view as to the origin and the nature of language, his theory of knowledge, his attempt to establish classifications, to fix individuality, and even the end of the chapter, which shows that only a mind which is free from the bias of uncontrolled desires can find truth, - and with it, happiness -, are well worthy of consideration. As Hu Shih has pointed out [*], it is a matter of great regret that these beginnings of logic, attempted by Hsün-tzü, the Neo-Mohists and some others, have not been continued. The history of Chinese thought might then have been very different from what it is now." (pp. 223-224)

    [*] The Development of the logical method in ancient China.

    [English trnaslation of the Chapter 16, "The rectification of terminology", pp. 224-254]

  25. 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.

    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 contemporary studies of ming. Changing course by returning to the correct path of intellectual history can providing an objective and thorough ordering of pre-Qin discourse on ming."

  26. 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 III: The Dialecticians and Logicians 45-58.

    "The above is an exposition of what we mean by " transcending shapes and features ".[*] In the history of Chinese philosophy, the first philosophy really of this kind of transcendence was the philosophy of the Logicians [Ming Chia, lit. Name School), the title given to the earliest specialists in logic in the fourth and third centuries B.C.

    The Ming Chia logicians followed after the Dialecticians (Pien Che) , of whom the greatest teachers were Hui Shih and Kung-sun Lung." (pp. 47-48).


    "Kung-sun Lung also wrote a Discussion on Chih (Universals) and Things, His main proposition there was, " There are no things which do not entail universals, but a universal is not universal."

    Thus things and universals are opposites. He also said, " Heaven and Earth and what it brings into existence are things. A thing is no more than a thing (i.e. a concrete actuality). It is also no less than a concrete actuality. It has a position." {Ming Shih Lun.)

    To use the terminology of Western philosophy, things are particulars, having position in space and time. A chih is a universal, a thing is a particular. A thing may be analysed into a number of universals. It is a number of universals put together.

    But a universal cannot be split up into a number of universals.

    Therefore, as was said, " There are no things which are not universals, but a universal is not universal." Examine a universal and it is but one universal. Each universal is separate from any other. This is what is said in Kung-sun Lung's " In the world each stands alone and is true." {Chien Pai Lun.)" (p. 57)

    [*] " Shapes and features " is a literal translation of Dr. Fung's Chinese, which, it should be noted, is a common term in Chinese philosophy. One's first impulse was to translate by " the phenomenal ". It may be thought that, as " phenomenal " is antithetical to noumenal this is correct. But there is no such antithesis in Chinese philosophy. Further " shapes and features " has a vivid quality of its own ; and who can tell whether some useful train of thought may not arise from the Western reader being reminded that the world of the phenomenal is a world of shapes and features ? (E. R. Hughes.) Note at p. 45.

  27. ———. 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. 191-567.

    Chapter 8: The School of Names 80-92.

    "The term Ming chia has sometimes been translated as "sophists," and sometimes as "logicians" or "dialecticians." It is true th.at there is some similarity between the Ming chia and the sophists, logicians,

    and dialecticians, but it is also true that they are not quite the same.

    To avoid confusion, it is berter to translate Ming chia Iiterally as the Schoof of Names. This translation also helps to bring to the attention of Westerners one of the importanr problems discussed by Chinese philosophy, namely that of the relation between ming (the name) and shih (the actuality)." (p. 80)

    Chapter 11: The Later Mohists 118-128.

    "In the Mo-tzu, there are six chapters (chs. 40-45) which differ in character from the other chapters and possess a special logical interest.

    Of these, chapters forty to forty-one arc titled "Canons" and consist of definitions of logical, moral, mathematical, and scientific ideas.

    Chapters forty-two to forty-three are titled "Expositions of the Canons," and consist of explanations of the definitions contained in the preceding two chapters. And chapters forty-four and forty-five are titled "Major illustrations" and "Minor Illustrations" respectively.

    In them, several topics of logical interest are discussed. TIle general purpose of all six chapters is to uphold the Mohist point of view and refute, in a logical way, ilie arguments of the School of Names. The chapters as a whole are usually known as the "Mohist Canons"."


    "The Mohists as well as some of the Confucianists, on the other hand, were philosophers of common sense. Though the two groups differed in many ways, they agreed with one another in being practicaL

    In opposition to the arguments of the School of Names, they developed, almost along similar lines of thought, epistemological and logical theories to defend common sense. These theories appear in the "Mohist Canons" and in the chapter titled "On The Rectification of Names" in the Hsün-tzü, the author of which, as we shall see in chapter thirteen, was one of the greatest Confucianists of the early period." (pp. 118-119)

  28. ———. 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 that of the first edition as published by Henri Vetch in Peiping in 1937." Revisions and Addtions, [to the second edition] pp. XXI-XXXIV.

    Chapter IX: Hui Shih, Kung-sun Lung and the Other Dialecticians, pp. 192-220.

    "There was one group of philosophers which was known as the School of Names (ming chia) by Han scholars, but which during the Warring States period was generally known as the School of Forms and Names (hsing ming chia) or as the ' Dialectic­ians' (pien che).

    Thus the Chuang-tzü (ch. 12) says: "The Dialecticians speak about the ' separateness of hard and white,' as if these could be hung up on different pegs" (p. 144). Again (ch. 33) : " Through such sayings Hui Shih II made a great show in the world, and taught them to the Dialecticians. The Dialecticians in the world were delighted with them .... Huan T'uan and Kung-sun Lung were followers of the Dialecticians " (pp. 451-452). These quotations are evidence of the prominence of this philosophic group during the period, and of the general application to it of the term, ' Dialecticians. '

    The works of the Dialecticians, with the exception of the partially preserved Küng-sun Lung-tzü, have all been lost. What we know to-day about the doctrines of Hui Shih and the other Dialec­ticians is mostly derived from the paradoxes recorded in Chapter XXXIII of the Chuang-tzü. These paradoxes represent only the final conclusions arrived at by the Dialecticians, leaving us with no means of knowing the steps of reasoning by which they reached their conclusions. Logically speaking, one and the same conclusion may be arrived at from different premises, so that if we know only the conclusion, it is impossible to know from which of the many possible premises it was reached. Therefore, a strictly historical study of the paradoxes of Hui Shih and the other Dialecticians is impossible, since we are left wholly free to supply our own premises and explanations for these conclusions, quite independent of the ones which were actually used."

    Chapter XI: The Later Mohist School, pp. 246-278.

  29. Fleming, Jesse. 2009. "A Set Theory Analysis of the Logic of the Yijing." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 36:37-47.

    The original version of this article was published in Journal of Chinese Philosophy 20, no. 2 (Jun 1993): 133–146

    "To many Western academic philosophers, the ancient Chinese text known as the Yijing (the Book of Changes) is merely a mosaic of images arbitrarily arranged, with no discernible “logic.” The novice student of the I often feels he is in a dreamlike world, a maze where ordinary canons of reason do not apply. In order to further the demystification begun long ago by the great German sinologues Richard and Hellmut Wilhelm, we may take as our point of analytic entry into the I the question, “In what ways do the I’s logical structure and implied logical postulates conform/contribute to modern theories of modal logic, multi-value logic, and set theory?”(1) Our initial methodological premise will be that, as the I is a unique blend of proto-Confucian and proto-Daoist ideas, the logic of the I incorporates many of the alogical axioms and assumptions that permeate Daoist thinking. By elaborating on the “Taoistic logic” found in the I, and by comparing it with Western set theory, modal logic, and so on we may clarify the profound, but obscure, philosophy of the I by identifying some interesting parallels and paradigms shared by the ancient Yijing and modern Western philosophy of logic; we may even discover that the I’s logical structure offers something new to Western theorists of logic." (p. 37)

    (1) Following Wilhelm, I will use “I” as the phonetic transliteration of (rather than the common alternative yi); also following Wilhelm, I will frequently abbreviate Yijing as simply I, as this is what the Chinese commentaries themselves do; and finally, I will usually cite the Wilhelm/Baynes translation (with accompanying page reference to the English text published by Princeton University Press, 1978—for ease of reference), unless I think their translation is misleading, in which case I note that the translation is mine.


    Hellmut Wilhelm, Heaven, Earth, and Man in The book of Changes: Seven Eranos Lectures, Seattle: University of Washington Press 1977.

  30. Forke, Alfred. 1902. "The Chinese Sophists." Journal of the North China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society no. 34:1-100.

    "In the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. we can distinguish five different schools of thought in China. Their founders are Confucius, the moralist and ritualist, Chuang Tse, the mystic and pantheist, Mê Ti, the philanthropist and optimist, Yang Chu, the Epicurean and pessimist, and the sophists Hui Shih and Kung Sun Lung(1). The two latter schools must have had a very ephemeral existence. They left scarcely a trace behind them(2). Of the three former that of the Mihists [Mohists] for a long time held its own against the orthodox school of Confucius which at last succeeded in supplanting it.

    The technical Chinese term for Sophist is pien shih, literally a disputant, a debater, a controversialist." (p. 6)


    "In the interesting catalogue of ancient works contained in the Han-shu [Cap. XXX] the sophists are very appropriately classed together with the Dialecticians(3) of which altogether seven are enumerated : Têng Hsi, Yin Wên Tse, Kung Sun Lung Tse, Chêng Kung Shêng, Hui Tse, Huang Kung, and Mao Kung. The works of the three first-named are still extant, the others lost. Of these dialecticians Têng Hsi, Kung Sun Lung, Hui Tse, and perhaps Mao Kung, are looked upon as sophists. Mao Kung is said to have lived contemporaneously with Kung Sun Lung, of whom I am going to speak more in detail, and to have professed very similar views. Of Cheng Kung Shêng and Huang Kung we learn that they flourished about the time of Li Sse, the famous minister of Chin Shih Huang Ti [C. B.C. 208]. Huang Kung was a great scholar in Ch‘in and wrote poetry which was incorporated in the Collection of Poetry of the Ch‘in dynasty published in the Han dynasty." (p. 8)

    (1) 1 Chuang Tse, XXIV, 17.

    2 On Yang Chu [cf. my paper in the Transactions of the Peking Oriental Society, Vol. III, No. 3].

    (3) Mayers’ rendering of [Manual, p. 343] as the school of writers on official station is not correct. The discussions of the dialecticians have a much wider scope than official station, which, it is true, is very frequently touched upon by them.

  31. Fraser, Chris. 2003. "Introduction to Graham, Later Mohist Logic, Ethics and Science." In, XVII-XXXIV. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press.

    Introduction to the reprint of 2003.

    "A. C Graham's Later Mohist Logic, Ethics and Science was a landmark in the study of classical Chinese thought. By far the most thorough, discipJined, and systematic reconstruction and interpretation of the later Mohist texts ever published, Graham's work opened up new vistas in the study of ancient Chinese philosophy and science." (p. XVII)


    "In praising Graham's many interpretive achievements, I have been focusing on the numerous details of his account lhat are convincing or clearly make so!id contributions to our understanding of the later Mohists.

    I have not yet mentioned the most prominem aspect of his interpretive work. his account of the overall aims of the text and the fundamental nature of later Mohist ethics. semantics, logic. and epistemology.* This, unfortunatelv,, must be considered the area in which further study is least likely to corroborate his conclusions." (p. XXIV)

    * For a concise, accessible summary of Graham's interpretation, see pp. 137-170 of his Disputers of the Tao {Open Court, 1980). much of which is a revised version of Later Mohist Logic § 1.1. Students of the canons should note that Graham there modifies his interpretation of Canons A 50 and A 51 {see pp. 142-143 where the canons labeled A 40-41 are in fact A 50-51).

  32. ———. 2007. "Language and Ontology in Early Chinese Thought." Philosophy East and West no. 57:420-456.

    "In Language and Logic in Ancient China (1983), Chad Hansen proposes that the semantics of Classical Chinese nouns is similar to that of English mass nouns, a view he calls the "mass noun hypothesis."


    "In this article, I review critical responses to Hansen and present a new critique of my own."


    "Section 2 summarizes the two-core interpretive hypotheses that Hansen presents in chapter 2 of Language and Logic and distinguishes them from two distinct, less plausible claims with which they are run together. The next two sections lay the groundwork for my subsequent arguments by explaining the distinction between word class and word function (section 3) and clarifying key features of mass nouns and their semantics (section 4). Section 5 presents and evaluates Hansen's argument from mass nouns, concluding that it is unsound. Sections 6 and 7 review critical responses to Hansen, attempting to clear up several misunderstandings and clarify where his critics were on the mark and where not. Section 7 also briefly rebuts two competing accounts of the nature of Classical Chinese nouns. Section 8 summarizes the Mohists' and Xunzi's accounts of the relation between things and the kinds to which they belong, showing that the considerations Hansen cites in fact play no role in their theories. Section 9 reviews textual evidence for attributing mereological views to early Chinese thinkers, concluding that the evidence is limited but credible." (pp. 420-421)

  33. ———. 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.

    Abstract: "A new interpretation is presented of Mohist Canon and Explanation B 67 that clarifies the grarnrnar and significance of these difficult passages while critiquing and building on previous work by Graham, Hansen, and Makeham. A novel feature of the interpretation is that it reads a pair of verbs in the second sentence of the Explanation putatively, instead of declaratively. A consequence of the interpretation is that on the Mohist theory of disputation (bian), it is undecidable whether a fusion (jiān) of two things falls within the extension of the term for either constituent of the fusion. The Mohists' view seerns motivated by an irnplicit attitude that, although a fusion of two kinds of things can be regarded as a single object, it nevertheless fundamentally remains a sum of different kinds of objects. Canon and Explanation B 67 thus irnplicitly place a lirnitation on the Mohist's conception of a fusion (jiān) and highlight a conceptual gap in their theory of disputation."

  34. ———. 2009. "The Mohist School." In History of Chinese Philosophy, edited by Mou, Bo, 137-163. New York: Routledge.

    "The Mohist school was among the most influential philosophical and social movements of pre-Han China. It was devoted to practicing and promulgating the teachings of a man named Mo Di (墨翟) (fl. ca 430 BCE), who became known as Mo Zi (墨 子), or Master Mo. Mo Zi and his followers were the originators of philosophical argumentation in China." (p. 137)


    "The first two sections of this essay sketch the historical background to and sources for Mohist thought. Section 4 summarizes the ten doctrines that make up the heart of the Mohists’ reform agenda. Section 5 describes the fundamental aim and orientation of their social and philosophical project. Sections 6 and 7 introduce their political and ethical theories, while the next two sections give a brief overview of their epistemology, philosophy of language, and logic. The concluding section describes the decline of the Mohist movement during the Qin and Han dynasties. (p. 138)


    "9 Language and Logic

    The Mohist Dialectics presents a naturalistic semantic theory on which referential relations between general terms and objects are explained by speakers’ associating names (ming, words or terms) with kinds (lei) of similar things. As in the Analects of Confucius, the other parts of the Mo-Zi, and the Xun-Zi, theoretical attention focuses on the issue of applying names to things correctly, and not on the structure or truth of sentences. Unlike traditional Western theories of language, such as Lockean conceptualism, the Mohists do not explain the relation between language and the world by appeal to mental ideas or meanings that words stand for. Instead, speakers communicate by mastering practices for distinguishing the referents of names for various things. By virtue of these practices, members of the same language community know that each general term stands for all similar things of a certain kind." (p. 158)

  35. ———. 2012. "Truth in Mohist Dialectics." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 39:351-368.

    Abstract: "The article assesses Chad Hansen’s arguments that both early and later Moist texts apply only pragmatic, not semantic, terms of evaluation and treat “appropriate word or language usage,” not

    semantic truth. I argue that the early Moist “three standards” are indeed criteria of a general notion of correct dao 道(way), not specifically of truth. However, as I explain, their application may include questions of truth. I show in detail how later Moist texts employ terms with the same expressive role as “. . . is true.” Thus, contra Hansen, the Moists can justifiably be said to have a concept of semantic truth."

  36. ———. 2013. "Distinctions, Judgment, and Reasoning in Classical Chinese Thought." History and Philosophy of Logic no. 34:1-24.

    Abstract: "The article proposes an account of the prevailing classical Chinese conception of reasoning and argumentation that grounds it in a semantic theory and epistemology centered on drawing distinctions (biàn) between the similar and dissimilar kinds of things that do or do not fall within the extension of ‘names’ (míng). The article presents two novel interpretive hypotheses. First, for pre-Hàn Chinese thinkers, the functional role associated with the logical copula is filled by a general notion of similarity or sameness (tóng). Second, these thinkers’ basic explanation of reasoning is that it is a process of moving from a comparison of whether something is similar to a ‘model’ or ‘standard’ (fˇa ) to a judgment about whether that thing is part of a certain kind (lèi). Classical texts treat judgment as the attitude of predicating a ‘name’ of something, or, equivalently, of distinguishing whether something is the kind of thing denoted by a certain term. Reasoning is treated as a process of considering how some acts of term predication, or drawing distinctions, normatively commit one to making further, analogous predications or drawing further, analogous distinctions. Inference is thus understood as the act of distinguishing something as a certain kind of thing as a result of having distinguished it as similar to a relevant ‘model’ or ‘standard’. The article concludes by summarizing the consequences of the proposed account of early Chinese semantic and logical theories for the interpretation of other areas of classical Chinese thought."

  37. ———. 2016. "Language and Logic in the Xunzi." In Dao Companion to the Philosophy of Xunzi, edited by Hutton, Eric L., 291-321. Dordrecht: Springer.

    "The Xunzi is among our most valuable sources for early Chinese philosophy of language and logic. Xunzi’s views on language and dialectics are of great interest in their own right, but they also form an integral part of his broader ethical, political, epistemological, and metaphysical theories.


    Xunzi’s semantic and logical theories are largely consistent with those of the path-breaking Mohist “Dialectics,” (2) suggesting that their shared features, along with those of relevant discussions in the Confucian Analects and The Annals of Lü Buwei, represent the prevailing, mainstream approach to language and logic in classical China. Xunzi adopts much the same conceptual apparatus as the Mohists but develops and extends it in several respects. His semantic theory in particular complements the Mohist treatment by filling an important explanatory gap concerning the basis for kind distinctions and by helping to resolve certain conceptual puzzles that emerge from Mohist thought. This semantic theory is intertwined with a theory of perception that presents an intriguing counterpart to representational theories familiar from the Western tradition. Xunzi’s views on language and logic present interpretive and justifi catory problems of their own, however, which as we will see are in some respects indicative of fundamental diffi culties in his ethical and political philosophy." (pp. 281-292)

    (2) The Mohist “Dialectics” (“Mo Bian”) are six books of the Mozi that present an extensive treatment of language and logic, among other topics. For detailed discussions, see Graham ( 1978 ), Hansen ( 1992 ), or Fraser ( 2005a ).


    Fraser, Chris. 2005a. “Mohist Canons.” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy , ed. E. Zalta. <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2011/entries/mohist-canons/

    Graham, A.C. 1978. Later Mohist Logic, Ethics, and Science. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press.

    Hansen, Chad. 1992. A Daoist Theory of Chinese Thought. New York: Oxford. (Includes a lengthy chapter on Xunzi, with a detailed discussion of his philosophy of language.)

  38. ———. 2016. The Philosophy of the Mòzĭ: The First Consequentialists. New York: Columbia University Press.

    Chapter 2: Epistemology and Logic: Drawing Distinctions, pp. 49-76.

    "Mohist epistemology is also of special interest as part of an intriguing network of views on language, mind, and action that constitute a shared background for much classical Chinese thought. This epistemology had a major influence - both as a constructive resource and as a target of criticism - on other classical schools of thought, especially those represented in the Xúnzĭ, a collection of Ruist writings, and the Zhuāngzĭ, an anthology of Daoist texts.

    This chapter presents an interpretation of early Mohist epistemology and logic and explains how their assumptions in these areas shape their ethics and psychology. For brevity, the chapter treats only the "Triads" and "Dialogues."(2)

    I argue that Mohist epistemology and logic are built around four core notions: shì ("this" or "right") versus fěi ("not" or "wrong"), biàn (drawing distinctions), and (models). I first introduce these basic notions and then discuss how the Mohists apply them to treat knowledge and reasoning." (p. 50)

  39. ———. 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.

    "Any discussion of early Chinese paradoxes must acknowledge a pair of important caveats. First, since the extant sources provide little or no context for most of the paradoxes, interpretation is often partly conjectural and in some cases highly speculative. Accordingly, I will try to make explicit which aspects of the interpretations presented here seem well grounded and which are open to doubt. Second, unsurprisingly, given the obscurity of the texts, for any one paradox a plurality of divergent interpretations can be found in the literature. Indeed, in the case of Gongsun Long, scholars disagree not only about how to interpret the texts but also about which texts to interpret, some researchers accepting all five discourses attributed to Gongsun Long as authentic pre-Han writings, some rejecting half as apocryphal.

    This brief survey cannot attempt to do justice to every significant interpretation of each paradox. Instead, I will try to present a coherent set of reasonably plausible interpretations while using the notes and bibliography to call readers’ attention to other important readings." (p. 288)

  40. ———. 2020. The Mohist Dialectics.

    Digital supplement to part IV of The Essential Mòzǐ (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020),

  41. ———. 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 kinds."

    [*] Realism and Conventionalism in Later Mohist Semantics, Dao Vol. 16, 2017, pp. 521–542.

  42. ———. 2021. "Representation in Early Chinese Philosophy of Language." Philosophy East and West no. 71:57-78.

    "For the purposes of this discussion, I will understand linguistic representation as the use of linguistic expressions to stand for objects, situations, or events, “re-presenting” them in the medium of linguistic symbols. Representational content is the property of expressions by which they represent what they do. Representation is intertwined with reference in complex ways. The use of a linguistic expression to refer to something may (partly) determine its representational content, for example, while the content a speech community customarily associates with some linguistic expression may in some contexts determine its reference. The two concepts are distinct, however. Reference is a relation between expressions and objects by which expressions purport to indicate or identify things. This relation provides a means to form linguistic representations, which, as the Mohists would say, “model” things for some audience.

    Section 2 below surveys Mohist views about the functions of language as presented in the early Mohist Triads (books 8–37 of the Mozi) and the Mohist Dialogues (books 46–49). The Mohists depict yan 言(statements or utterances) as indeed having a reporting and so probably a representational function. However, the most prominent function of yan for them is its role in guiding conduct. They seem to see reference as fixed at least partly through the use of language to guide action. Speakers who fail to act appropriately in response to utterances demonstrate a failure to grasp the correct reference of the terms they use.

    The ensuing section surveys the detailed account of the representational role of language presented in the Later Mohist Canons." (p. 59)

  43. Fung, Yiu-ming. 2007. "A Logical Perspective on 'Discourse on White-Horse'." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 34:515-536.

    "With respect to the issue of reference in the book of Gongsun Longzi, especially in “Discourse on White-Horse” (Baima Lun), there has been no consensus in the field about the logical function of the name, what

    kind of reality denoted by the name, and the mode of reference.

    However, some of the famous or influential interpretations based on different theoretical considerations for analyzing and explaining the issue in the Discourse can be found in the literature. As I know, there

    are at least four representative interpretations which address different opinions on the issue from different perspectives. The first one is Hu Shi’s “Description-Theoretical Interpretation” which seems to be an

    application of Bertrand Russell’s theory of definite descriptions, or, more accurately, is an interpretation which is unconsciously based on the theory.The second one is FungYu-lan’s “Realistic Interpretation,” an application of the Platonic “Idea” to the text in a quite consistent way.The third one is Janusz Chmielewski’s “Set-Theoretical Interpretation” which assigns a logician status to Gongsun Long in terms of a

    particular notion of set. The last one is Chad Hansen’s “Nominalistic Interpretation,”which is based on a bold hypothesis of mass noun and is considered by him as a replacement of the above three and other

    kinds of abstract interpretations.

    In the next section I shall discuss the main points of these four old interpretations and demonstrate their theoretical characteristics and difficulties in dealing with the issue inside or outside the Discourse. In

    the third section, I shall use the first-order predicate logic to analyze the logical structures of both Gongsun Long’s and his opponent’s arguments, and then borrow Saul Kripke’s and other theorists’ direct theory of reference to explain the issue of reference in the Discourse.

    Based on these analysis and explanation, I think, I can provide not only a comprehensive and coherent interpretation for the Discourse, but also a solid base for the interpretation and explanation of the remaining chapters in the book of Gongsun Longzi, a project of which cannot be done by the old interpretations." (pp. 515-516)

  44. ———. 2009. "The School of Names." In History of Chinese Philosophy, edited by Mou, Bo, 164-188. New York: Routledge.

    "In his treatise entitled ‘Lun-Liu-Jia-Yao-Zhi’ (論六家要指, On the Essential Ideas of the Six Schools), Sima Tan has classified the thinkers of the preceding centuries into six major schools, including the Yin-Yang school (陰陽 家 Yin-yang-jia), Confucianism (儒家 Ru-jia), Mohism (墨家 Mo-jia), the school of Names (名家 Ming-jia), Legalism (法家 Fa-jia), and Daoism (道德家 Dao-de-jia). In regard to this classification of Sima Tan, modern philologist and historian Hu Shi (胡 適) has rightly demonstrated that it should not be understood as a factual description of reality in history. Nevertheless, I think it is still significant to use this classification as a prescriptive framework to understand the similarities and differences between various thinkers of the pre-Qin China in a sensible and systematic way. A group of thinkers was identified as the school of Names by the scholars of the former Han, but its members had been generally recognized as the school of Forms and Names (刑名之家 Xing-ming-zhi-jia), or as ‘sophists’, ‘disputers’, or ‘dialecticians’ (辯者 Bian-zhe) during the Warring States (戰國 Zhan-guo) period. According to the records in the literature of the Warring States and former Han period, this group includes such main figures as Deng Xi (鄧析), Yin Wen (尹文), Hui Shi (惠施 350–260 BCE), and Gongsun Long (公孫龍 320–250 BCE). With the exception of the partially preserved Gong-Sun-Long-Zi (公孫龍子), the works of the sophists have all been lost." (p. 164)

  45. ———. 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."

  46. ———. 2012. "Introduction: Language and Logic in Later Moism." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 39:327-332.

    "In this special theme,we have four articles that deal with a set of related topics, that is, definitions,names, truth and reasoning, in later Moism. In terms of philosophical language, different ideas of naming and different definitions of names and other linguistic entities can be used to express different theses in philosophy." (p. 327)


    "In contrast with the nonanalytic approach in Confucianism and Daoism, later Moism is much more analytic in the sense that the Moists tend to theorize their philosophical arguments with an analytic language. In this special theme, some of the articles will argue that there is a kind of semantic notion of truth and a schematic idea of argument explicitly or implicitly expressed in the text of later Moism.

    Moreover, the names and definitions reflectively used in the text also indicate that the language of ancient Chinese philosophy is significantly comparable with that of Western philosophy." (pp. 327-328)

  47. ———. 2012. "A Logical Perspective on the Parallelism in Later Moism." Journal of Chinese Philosophy no. 39:333-350.

    Abstract: "A. C. Graham thinks that the parallelism in the Neo-Moist Canons is about the deduction of sentences. On the contrary, Chad Hansen thinks that they are not plausibly treated as inference of deductive

    forms since the later Moists are at pains to show that they can “go wrong.” In this article, I shall try to provide a logical analysis and a constructive rather than defeatist interpretation of parallelism in the text. I argue that the Moists tend to express their ideas in the “material mode of speech” to build up their semantic and pragmatic sensibility in philosophical thinking."

  48. ———, 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)

  49. ———. 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.

    1. Hu Shih’s Interpretation and Analysis 309; 2. Fung Yulan’s Interpretation and Analysis 314; 3. Janusz Chmielewski’s Interpretation and Analysis 317; 4. A New Logico-Philosophical Interpretation 322-326.

    "I think we should elaborate its form as: ~(a = b). This can be proved validly from his premises. Of course, Gongsun Long does not notice very well the distinction between use and mention and thus sometimes uses these words such as “horse,” “white” and “white-horse” not to refer to entity but to refer to itself, i.e., to mention the name itself. However, his thesis can be proved to be valid based on his premises whether “white-horse is not horse” means “white-horse is not the same [entity] as horse” or “The name ‘white-horse’ is not [referring to] the same [thing] as the name ‘horse’.” The consequence of this arrangement is that the arguments provided by both sides can be formulated in an intelligible way and nothing has to be explained away." (p. 326)

  50. ———. 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 analytical thinking.”


    "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]

  51. ———. 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.

    "Although there was no systematic theory of grammar or syntax in ancient China, some philologists or interpreters of ancient classics in the Han 漢 dynasty or earlier did use grammatical devices to recognize or construct meaningful expressions, including full-fledged or condensed sentences. Based on these devices, they were able to identify or make simple sentences or complex sentences for expressing propositional

    attitudes, including expressing beliefs, desires, emotions, judgments and evaluation, etc., in ancient texts. Without using these devices, these scholars cannot understand any meaningful expression in ancient texts and also cannot communicate with each other." (p. 71)

  52. ———. 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.

    "In addition to the senses mentioned above, there are some other uses of the word [Reason (Gu 故)] with logical significance. One of them is used as a conjunction to connect an expression of a causal factor or an expression of a logical condition (including necessary and sufficient conditions) with an expression of a phenomenon and to treat the former as an explanan and the latter as an explanadum for the whole series of connected sentences. It can be formed as a causal explanation if the explanan is about a causal factor of the explanadum. It can also be formed as a logical explanation if the explanan is about a logical reason of the explanadum. Just like the English words “therefore,” “hence” and “thus,” the Chinese words “gu” and “guyue” 故曰 (so I say that) can be used to make a causal explanation or a logical explanation." (p. 182)


    "In ancient Chinese texts, the word “li” 理 also have different uses and senses. If it is a verb, it can be used to mean (A) the action of management, adjustment or arrangement.

    If it is a noun, it can be used to mean (B) the texture or pattern of a material object such as wood and jade, (C) the property of an object or event, (D) the structure or order of physical events or human affairs, (E) the principle or theory of natural phenomena or human events, and (F) the reasonableness of taking verbal and non-verbal actions." (pp. 187-188)

  53. ———. 2020. "Counterfactual Conditionals." In Dao Companion to Chinese Philosophy of Logic, edited by Fung, Yiu-ming, 97-111. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

    "In classical Chinese, I don’t think there is no counterfactual marker or other linguistic device to express counterfactuals which can be used to make counterfactual arguments. In this chapter, I will argue for this point with textual evidence in the coming sections. In this section, I would like to demonstrate that the hypothesis of linguistic relativity together with its consequential thesis of incomparability or incommensurability is

    not sustainable." (pp. 99-100)

  54. ———. 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.

    "In dealing with the topics of tong 同 (sameness, similarity or unity) and yi 異 (difference, dissimilarity or disunity), Later Mohists’ view is much more sophisticated than other ancient Chinese thinkers’ in the sense that they distinguish different senses of tong and yi, including the sameness and difference of classes or the similarity and dissimilarity of kinds." (p. 213)

  55. ———. 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.

    "As a dialectician, Gōngsūn Lóng was famous in his time due to his provocative thesis “white horse is not horse”. As stated in the first chapter of the Gōngsūn Lóngzǐ 公孫龍子, ‘Collected Notes’ (‘Jìfǔ’ 跡府), “he wished to extend this disputation to rectify names and reality and to spread his influence over the whole world” (欲推是辯以正名實而化天下焉). But his idea of the “rectification of names” (zhèng míng 正名) is basically different from that of the Confucians.


    As I have argued elsewhere,(3) Gōngsūn Lóng’s arguments in ‘An Essay on White Horse’ (‘Báimǎ lùn’ 白馬論) are based on his special theory of reference, which, in turn, is grounded in his special theory of onto-cosmology." (p. 119)


    "To support his arguments for the theses of white horse and hard white, he provides a special theory of reference which is, in turn, supported by a peculiar theory of onto-cosmology. Gōngsūn Lóng’s theories of reference and onto-cosmology in general are revealed in ‘Zhǐwù lùn’ 指物論 (An Essay on Zhǐwù), ‘Tōngbiàn lùn’ 通變論 (An Essay on UnderstandingChange), and ‘Míngshí lùn’ 名實論 (An Essay on Names and Reality) and in particular in ‘Jiānbái lùn’ 堅白論 (An Essay on Hard and White). In the remainder of this chapter, I try to give a coherent and comprehensive interpretation and analysis of these essays, which is also consistent with my interpretation and analysis of ‘Báimǎ lùn’." (pp. 121-122)

    (3) Yiu-ming Fung 2007: 515–536; see also Yiu-ming Fung, forthcoming, ch. 6.


    Fung, Yiu-ming (2007): “A Logical Perspective on ‘the Discourse on White-Horse’”. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 34.4: 515–536.

    Fung, Yiu-ming (forthcoming): Language, Truth and Logic in Ancient China.