The School of Names (Chinese: 名家; pinyin: Míngjiā), sometimes called the School of Forms and Names (Chinese: 形名家; pinyin: Xíngmíngjiā; Wade–Giles: Hsing2-ming2-chia1),[1] was a school of Chinese philosophy that grew out of Mohism during the Warring States period in 479–221 BCE. The followers of the School of Names were sometimes called the Logicians or Disputers.

Overview

The philosophy of the Logicians is often considered to be akin to those of the sophists or of the dialecticians. Joseph Needham notes that their works have been lost, except for the partially preserved Gongsun Longzi, and the paradoxes of Chapter 33 of the Zhuangzi.[2] Needham considers the disappearance of the greater part of Gongsun Longzi one of the worst losses in the ancient Chinese books, as what remains is said to reach the highest point of ancient Chinese philosophical writing.[1]

Birth places of notable Chinese philosophers from Hundred Schools of Thought in Zhou Dynasty. Philosophers of Logicianism are marked by circles in blue.
Birth places of notable Chinese philosophers from Hundred Schools of Thought in Zhou Dynasty. Philosophers of Logicianism are marked by circles in blue.

One of the few surviving lines from the school, "a one-foot stick, every day take away half of it, in a myriad ages it will not be exhausted," resembles Zeno's paradoxes. However, some of their other aphorisms seem contradictory or unclear when taken out of context, for example, "Dogs are not hounds."[3]

They were opposed by the Later Mohists for their paradoxes.[4]

History

Warring States era philosophers Deng Xi, Yin Wen, Hui Shi, Gongsun Long were all associated with the School of Names.[5]

See also

References

Citations

  1. ^ a b Needham 1956, p. 185
  2. ^ Needham 1956, p. 697
  3. ^ Miscellaneous Paradoxes
  4. ^ Van Norden 2011, p. 111
  5. ^ Fraser, Chris, "School of Names", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2017 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.).

Sources

Bibliography