Gottlob Frege and Gongsun Long in Dialogue

Asian Studies 11 (1):267-295 (2023)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This work addresses the critical discussion featured in the contemporary literature about two well-known paradoxes belonging to different philosophical traditions, namely Frege’s puzzling claim that “the concept horse is not a concept” and Gongsun Long’s “white horse is not horse”. We first present the source of Frege’s paradox and its different interpretations, which span from plain rejection to critical analysis, to conclude with a more general view of the role of philosophy as a fight against the misunderstandings that come from the different uses of language (a point later developed by the “second” Wittgenstein). We then provide an overview of the ongoing discussions related to the Bai Ma Lun paradox, and we show that its major interpretations include—as in the case of Frege’s paradox—dismissive accounts that regard it as either useless or wrong, as well as attempts to interpret and repair the argument. Resting on our reading of Frege’s paradox as an example of the inescapability of language misunderstandings, we advance a similar line of interpretation for the paradox in the Bai Ma Lun: both the paradoxes, we suggest, can be regarded as different manifestations of similar concerns about language, and specifically about the difficulty of referring to concepts via language.



External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Gongsun Longzi zheng ming xue shuo yan jiu: jiao quan, jin yi, pou xi, zong lun.Yunzhi Zhou & Long Gongsun - 1994 - Beijing: Xin hua shu dian jing xiao. Edited by Long Gongsun.
Gottlob Frege.The Metaphysics of Gottlob Frege. [REVIEW]Peter Long - 1982 - Philosophical Quarterly 32 (127):173-175.
Gongsun Long zi xin lun =.Changzhong Zhou - 1991 - Shanghai: Xin hua shu dian Shanghai fa xing suo fa xing.
Gongsun Longzi jiao shi.Yujiang Wu, Long Gongsun & Xingyu Wu - 2001 - Shanghai: Shanghai gu ji chu ban she. Edited by Xingyu Wu & Long Gongsun.
Frege, an introduction to his philosophy.Gregory Currie - 1982 - Totowa, NJ: Barnes & Noble.
Translations from the philosophical writings of Gottlob Frege.Gottlob Frege - 1960 - Oxford, England: Blackwell. Edited by P. T. Geach & Max Black.
A Pro-Realist Account of Gongsun Long's "White Horse Dialogue".Yuan Ren & Yuyu Liu - 2019 - Philosophy East and West 69 (2):464-483.
Gottlob Frege: Utvalgte tekster.Øystein Linnebo - 2017 - Norsk Filosofisk Tidsskrift 52 (4):187-192.
Frege and Other Philosophers.Michael Dummett - 1991 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press UK.


Added to PP

235 (#76,409)

6 months
123 (#23,479)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Nevia Dolcini
University of Macau
Carlo Penco
Università degli Studi di Genova

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations