Kung-sun lung on the point of pointing: The moral rhetoric of names

Asian Philosophy 7 (1):47 – 58 (1997)
Graham compares Kung?sun Lung's ?White Horse not Horse? [Graham, A.C. (1990) Studies in Chinese Philosophy and Philosophical Literature (Albany, SUNY Press)] loith the use of a synecdoche in English, ?Sword is not Blade?. The Blade as part stands in here for the whole which is the Sword. But just as Sword as ?hilt plus blade? is more than blade, then via analogia, White Horse as ?white plus horse? is more than the part that is just ?horse?. Graham had taken over this Part/Whole argument from Chad Hansen who argues that since Chinese does not require the word ma for ?horse/horses? to be used with prefixed articles or numerals, ma is a ?mass?noun? similar to certain English mass?nouns like ?sand? which also has no plural form unlike the count?noun ?horse? [Hansen, Chad, (1983) Language and Logic in Ancient China (Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press)]. Hansen then equates ?White Horse is not Horse? to the Mohist argument for ?Ox Horse is not Horse?. Ox?Horse is a ?mixed herd? of Ox and Horse that is not (just) that part that is Horse. The same it is with the mass?sum that is White Horse. It is like saying in English ?White Sand is not Sand?. Sand being this spread of sand on the beach, it is more than just a patch of that beach that is white. But this attribution of a Part/Whole logic to Kung?sun Lung runs up against a basic dictum stated in his thesis on ?Pointing and Thing?. There it is noted how all things can be pointed out except thing itself because the word ?thing? leaves nothing to exclude for it to be stand out. Since that thesis is derived from the law of the excluded middle where a thing is either X or not X, it is not possible for Kung?sun Lung to subscribe to a Part/Whole logic which basically argues for a thing being both X and not X
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DOI 10.1080/09552369708575451
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A. C. Graham (1978). Later Mohist Logic, Ethics, and Science. School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

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