Contemporary Chinese Thought 52 (1-2):43-78 (2021)

Jin Yuelin’s logical and philosophical thought was deeply influenced by the philosophy of Bertrand Russell. The same influence existed also in the case of his view on truth, which was considerably close to the views maintained by Russell in his phase of logical atomism. In their investigations, Russell and Jin not only focused on similar topics, but also occupied similar philosophical positions, such as realism in the domain of ontology, empiricism in epistemology, and the correspondence theory in the domain of the theory of truth. Nevertheless, Jin Yuelin’s view on truth was not only a mere imitation or recapitulation or even plagiarized copy of Russell’s, but also contained innovations and characteristics of its own. Jin, for example, emphasized certain general characteristics of truth, including the notion of truth as a relational quality, that truth is not a matter of degree, and that it is relative neither to time and space nor to the different types of knowledge. By so doing, Jin underlined the objectiveness, reliability, and transcendence of true propositions. By arguing that the correspondence theory of truth possessed strong foundations in common sense, Jin set out to defend the role of common sense in philosophy and science, maintaining that the former cannot be completely eliminated and arguing against the notion that any modification of a part of common sense would ultimately be founded on yet another segment of common sense. Moreover, Jin delivered his own response against the theory of the gap between “subject and object/the internal and the external,” which had been used to question the correspondence theory of truth, proposing a variety of cognitivist theory, which defined facts as “the given” that has been received and arranged. Most importantly, facts are cognitive constructs created on the basis of “the given” and encapsulate both subjectiveness and objectiveness. Jin Yuelin was a modern Chinese philosopher who had achieved profound erudition in both Chinese and Western thought, and, above all, an independent an profoundly original thinker.
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DOI 10.1080/10971467.2021.1917942
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