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

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

Hardback Science & Civilisation in China Language: English / Chinese

By (author) Joseph Needham, By (author) Christoph Harbsmeier, Foreword by Joseph Needham

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  • Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Hardback | 504 pages
  • Language: English / Chinese
  • Dimensions: 183mm x 249mm x 30mm | 748g
  • Publication date: 13 March 1998
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 052157143X
  • ISBN 13: 9780521571432
  • Illustrations note: bibliography, index
  • Sales rank: 1,012,733

Product description

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.

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Review quote

"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 "[An] astonishing and enduring study...[Needham brings] depth of emotion and technical finesse to his task." Jonathan Spence, New York Review of Books "Perhaps the greatest single act of historical synthesis and intercultural communication ever attempted by one man." Laurence Picken, Cambridge University

Table of contents

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.