Chinese, The Logicians or School of Names (名家)

By Xah Lee. Date:

Formal logic, has root in Chinese around 479 BCE.

School of Names

The Logicians or School of Names (Chinese: 名家; pinyin: Míngjiā) was a school of Chinese philosophy that grew out of Mohism during the Warring States period in 479–221 BCE. It is also sometimes called the School of Forms and Names (Chinese: 形名家; pinyin: Xíngmíngjiā; Wade–Giles: Hsing2-ming2-chia1).[1]

One of the few surviving lines from the school, “a one-foot stick, every day take away half of it, in a myriad ages it will not be exhausted,” is obviously an independent formulation of Zeno's paradoxes. However, the majority of their paradoxes that survive are of unclear meaning, for example, “A hound can be deemed a sheep.”[2]

Their philosophy is often considered to be akin to those of the sophists or of the dialecticians. Joseph Needham notes that their works have been lost, except for the partially preserved Gongsun Longzi, and except for the paradoxes of Chapter 33 of the Zhuangzi.[3] Needham also notes that the disappearance of the greater part of Gongsun Longzi must be considered one of the worst losses in the ancient Chinese books, as what remains is said to reach the highest point of ancient Chinese philosophical writing.[1]

Note that Socrates is born around 470 BCE, so, it's about the same time.

名家

名家,通俗的说是辩论家,是中国战国的诸子百家之一。他们主要以诠释“实”与“名”来阐述观点。司馬談《論六家要旨》與班固的《漢書藝文志》都有提到名家。

名家將對名的探討從具體問題中抽象化,並且從更高角度繼續闡發其中的政治倫理思想,並且強調端正名實關係,實際上也是希望天下得治。

名家的重要人物有公孫龍、宋钘、尹文、鄧析、惠施等人,其提出的命题包括白马非马、堅白石、合同异等。