The State of the Field Report XII: Contemporary Chinese Studies of the Philosophy of Language in the Gongsun Longzi

Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 23 (2):283-307 (2024)
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Abstract

The philosophy of language in the Gongsun Longzi 公孫龍子 has been a hot topic since the 20th century, but there is still controversy about what point Gongsun Long 公孫龍 is making. This article reviews representative studies of the philosophy of language in the Gongsun Longzi in Sinophone academia since 2000. Some studies (especially in journal articles) conceive that one or two of the discourses are on the philosophy of language, while the other discourses concern ontology, epistemology, semiotics, or logic. In contrast, certain scholars read the whole book as being about the philosophy of language. The divergence lies in whether the common thread is linguistic meaning or concept, and whether Gongsun Long’s doctrine is unveiled by one or several theories. These differences lead to a wide variation in their interpretation of the key terms and claims in the Gongsun Longzi. It is found that there is no theoretical framework that can perfectly interpret the book without incurring any criticism, and more efforts are needed to elucidate the philosophy of language in the Gongsun Longzi.

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Gongsun Longzi jiao shi.Yujiang Wu, Long Gongsun & Xingyu Wu - 2001 - Shanghai: Shanghai gu ji chu ban she. Edited by Xingyu Wu & Long Gongsun.

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