Aristotle in China: Language, Categories and Translation

Aristotle in China: Language, Categories and Translation

Hardback Needham Research Institute Studies Language: English / Chinese

By (author) Robert Wardy

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  • Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Hardback | 182 pages
  • Language: English / Chinese
  • Dimensions: 146mm x 220mm x 26mm | 522g
  • Publication date: 13 April 2000
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521771188
  • ISBN 13: 9780521771184
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: 2 b/w illus.

Product description

In this book, Robert Wardy, a philosopher and classicist, turns his attention to the relation between language and thought. He explores this huge topic in an analysis of linguistic relativism, with specific reference to a reading of the ming li t'an ('The Investigation of the Theory of Names'), a seventeenth-century Chinese translation of Aristotle's Categories. Throughout his investigation, Wardy addresses important questions. Do the basis structures of language shape the major thought-patterns of its native speakers? Could philosophy be guided and constrained by the language in which it is done? What factors, from grammar and logic to cultural and religious expectations, influence translation? And does Aristotle survive rendition into Chinese intact? His answers will fascinate philosphers, Sinologists, classicists, linguists and anthropologists, and will make a major contribution to the existing literature.

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Review quote

'... we in Chinese studies clearly owe a considerable debt to Robert Wardy, and hope that he will find other examples of cultural intercommunication between the classical tradition of Western philosophy and China with which to beguile our increasingly rare moments of reflection.' Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society

Table of contents

Preface; Part I. The China Syndrome: Language, Logical Form, Translation: 1. Introduction; 2. Guidance and constraint; 3. On the very idea of translation; 4. Case-study 1: conditionals; 5. Case-study 2: Chinese is a list; 6. Logical form; 7. Case-study 3: being; 8. Case-study 4: truth; 9. Case-study 5: nouns and ontology; 10. Conclusion; Part II. Aristotelian whispers: 11. Introduction; 12. What's in a name?; 13. Disputation, discrimination, inference; 14. The need for logic; 15. Finite and infinite; 16. The simple and the complex; 17. All the things there are; 18. How many questions? 19. Relatively speaking; 20. Particular and general; 21. Translating the untranslatable; Epilogue; Glossary; References; Index.