Semantics

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By Zhenbin Sun

This e-book investigates chinese language comprehension and therapy of the connection among language and truth. The paintings examines historic chinese language philosophy during the pair of techniques often called ming-shi. by means of examining the pre-Qin thinkers’ discourse on ming and shi, the paintings explores how chinese language philosophers handled matters not just in language but additionally in ontology, epistemology, ethics, axiology, and common sense. via this discourse research, readers are invited to reconsider the connection of language to concept and behaviour. the writer criticizes and corrects important misunderstandings of chinese language tradition and highlights the anti-dualism and pragmatic personality of chinese language recommendations. the wealthy that means of the ming-shi pair is displayed by way of revealing its connection to different philosophical concerns. The chapters exhibit how discourse on language and truth shapes a vital attribute of chinese language tradition, the sensible zhi. They light up the interaction of chinese language theories of language and Dao as chinese language knowledge and worldview. Readers who're conversant in pragmatics and postmodernism will realize the typical issues in old chinese language philosophy and modern Western philosophy, as they emerge via those chapters. The paintings will really entice students of philosophy, philosophy of language, conversation experiences and linguistics.

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31 If shi refers merely to the appearance of things, they argued, it is not necessarily an abstraction. ” Moreover, since substance is both abstract and general and ming reflects substance, ming is both abstract and general, too. 27 28 29 30 31 Ibid. Ibid, ch. 2, trans. Chan, 235. Mo Bian–Jing Shou A. Mo Bian–Xiao Qu. Mo Bian–Jing A. 26 2 Four Notions of Names Of course, only to enquire into the logical nature of names is not enough to fully understand names. The pragmatic functions of names and their meanings must also be studied, for language is alive in its use in everyday life.

In this proposition, Gongsun Long displayed the metaphysical existence of separate and independent qualities by distinguishing “white” and “horse” as a particular color and animal from “whiteness” and “horseness” as universal entities. Among thinkers who participated in the discourse on ming-shi, Xun Zi is thought of as a nominalist. 11 But this does not mean Xun Zi was not influenced by earlier thinkers’ realist notion of ming, and it is not acceptable to suggest his notion of ming is on the whole nominalist.

26 Although the English translation here does not reflect the linguistic subtleties of the original, the Chinese version indicates three important points. First, Gongsun Long defined shi in terms of wei: a spatial and social order. That means shi is not empty or vague, but possesses concrete and actual characteristics. Moreover, as a spatial and social order, wei is further concretized in wu: varied things. In the natural area, these are objects, and in the social area, they are affairs. By providing these definitions, Gongsun overcame the limitation of Mo Zi’s conception of shi, which lacks clear intension and extension.

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