Names

On second thoughts, this comment should be a post in itself.
From the post 墨经 — MoJing (the science of the Mohist canons).

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

I mentioned Mohist logic and Names, on a rejoinder to an amusing musing on Ideas and Things, previously here:

Brooke is superficial, she talks only about things rather than ideas:
http://www.dailyspeculations.com/wordpress/?p=4125

I said:

Interesting and amusing post. Actually, its all about the Names…

“Names are names of things, not of our ideas. ”
“Are names more properly said to be the names of things or of our ideas of things?”
“The mind can conceive a multitude of individual things as one assemblage or class, and general names do really suggest to us certain ideas or mental representations…”

-John Stuart Mill, Philosophy of Scientific Method – Book I “Of Names and Propositions”

[See Nominalism]

And the chinese “School of Names” (especially of Hui Shi and Gongsun Longzi):
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/school-names/index.html

The “White Horse Discourse” and “Pointing and Things” of Gongsun Longzi:
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/school-names/pointing.html

And of course Mohist logic and philosophy of language in “Names and Things”:
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/mohist-canons/#4

Am taking this opportunity here on this post on the 墨经/MoJing to list the various nominalist and anti-nominalist teachings in chinese philosophy:

–Confucius: 正名说-Rectification of Names

–Taoism: 无名论-Doctrine of the Nameless

–Mohism: Mozi’s pragmatism in saying:

故我曰瞽不知白黑者,非以其名也,以其取也.
Hence the reason that I say the blind do not know white from black does not lie in the matter of definition but in the process of selection.

–from the Mozi, the book of 貴義 – Esteem for Righteousness

and the later expanded Latter-Mohist logic in their 名实观-“Names and Things”.

–The Chinese 名家-School of Names: 名实论-Doctrine of Names and Things; which includes GongSun LongZi and HuiShi and their fascinating paradoxes.

–荀子/XunZi: in his objective expansion of Confucius’s 正名说-Rectification of Names:

制名以指實,上以明貴賤,下以辨同異。貴賤明,同異別
To rectify names by pointing to what is real, of foremost to clarify between the good (of significance) and the poor (of insignificance), and latterly to distinguish between things that are the same and those that are different.

Reminds us of a certain greek categorizer eh…

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