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Science and Civilisation in China: Volume 7, The Social Background, Part 1, Language and Logic in Traditional China

Joseph Needham Christoph Harbsmeier (Universitetet i Oslo) Joseph Needham

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Cambridge University Pres
20 April 1998
History of science
Science and Civilisation in China Volume 7 Part 1 is the first book in the final volume of this unique resource. The Chinese culture is the only culture in the world which has developed systematic logical definitions and reflections on its own and on the basis of a non-Indo-European language. Christoph Harbsmeier discusses the basic features of the classical Chinese language which made it a suitable medium for science in ancient China, and he discusses in detail a wide range of abstract concepts which are crucial for the development of scientific discourse. There is special emphasis on the conceptual history of logical terminology in ancient China, and on traditional Chinese views on their own language. Finally the book provides an overview of the development of logical reflection in ancient China, first in terms of the forms of arguments that were deployed in ancient Chinese texts, and then in terms of ancient Chinese theoretical concerns with logical matters.
By:   Joseph Needham, Christoph Harbsmeier (Universitetet i Oslo)
Foreword by:   Joseph Needham
Imprint:   Cambridge University Pres
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 254mm,  Width: 195mm,  Spine: 36mm
Weight:   1.360kg
ISBN:   9780521571432
ISBN 10:   052157143X
Series:   Science and Civilisation in China
Pages:   504
Publication Date:   20 April 1998
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Foreword Joseph Needham; Preface; SECTION 49: LANGUAGE AND LOGIC IN TRADITIONAL CHINA; A: METHOD: 1. Methodological remarks; 2. The history of the study of classical Chinese language and logic in the West; B: TYPOLOGY: 1. The place of Chinese among East Asian languages; 2. Spoken Chinese and the semiotics of Chinese characters; 3. Traditional Chinese comments on language; 4. The art of definition; 5. Dictionaries in traditional China; 6. The art of grammar in traditional China; 7. The art of literacy in traditional China; C: LOGIC: 1. Negation and the law of double negation in classical Chinese; 2. Logical sentence connectives; 3. Logical quantifiers; 4. Lexical and grammatical categories; 5. Logical and grammatical explicitness; 6. Logical and grammatical complexity in classical Chinese; D: SENTENCES: 1. Punctuation and the concept of a sentence; 2. The concept of meaning; 3. The concept of truth; 4. The concept of necessity; 5. The concept of contradiction; 6. The concept of a class; 7. Abstraction and the concept of a property; 8. The concept of subsumption; 9. The concepts of knowledge and belief; E: RATIONALITY: 1. Argumentation and rationality in early China; 2. Some forms of argument in ancient China; F: HUI SHIH: 1. Teng Hsi and Hui Shih; 2. Kungsun Lung and the White Horse dialogue; Appendix to 2. The mass noun hypothesis and the part-whole analysis of the White Horse dialogue; 3. Hsun Tzu's logic; 4. Later Mohist logic; 5. Chinese reactions to ancient Chinese disputation and logic; 6. Logical thought in the 3rd century; G: BUDDHIST LOGIC: 1. History of Buddhist logic; 2. The system of Buddhist logic; 3. The argument for consciousness only; 4. The translation of logic from Sanskrit to Chinese; 5. Contrasts between Yin Ming and Aristotelian logic; CONCLUDING REFLECTIONS; Bibliography; Index.

Reviews for Science and Civilisation in China: Volume 7, The Social Background, Part 1, Language and Logic in Traditional China

Joseph Needham's masterpiece, chronicling the scientific and technical achievements of the world's oldest continuous civilization, has by now illuminated almost every aspect of the intellectual history of East Asia. David Wright, Isis This latest volume in the monumental series Science and Civilisation in China is singular. Unlike its companion volumes, it treats not the history of science but the comparitive history of the foundations of science in language and logic. China Review International This latest volume in the monumental series Science and Civilisation in China is singular. Unlike its companion volumes, it treats not the history of science but the comparative history of the foundations of science in language and logic...In addition to its breadth and depth of Chinese sources, the book is both implicitly and explicitly comparative in ways that Harbsmeier is uniquely qualified to undertake...In his concluding emphasis on the importance of informed comparison, Harbsmeier practices what he preaches, and the resulting work is a testament to the comparative method he so emphatically advocates. China Review International, Vol. 7


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