Names, Cranes, and the Later Moists

Journal of Chinese Philosophy 39 (3):369-385 (2012)
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Abstract

The Later Moists grounded our linguistic abilities in our ability to distinguish between kinds on the basis of manifest similarities and differences among things. Proper names, however, require a different treatment. According to the Moists, when we use a proper name, we borrow a word for one kind of thing and use it to refer to something else, as when we name dogs “crane.” This view probably responds in part to arguments that the possibility of using any word to refer to any thing threatens the stability of language. Proper names may borrow from terms with existing uses, but arguably they do not thereby undermine those uses

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Dan Robins
University of Hong Kong

Citations of this work

Realism about Kinds in Later Mohism.Chris Fraser - 2021 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 20 (1):93-114.
Realism and Conventionalism in Later Mohist Semantics.Daniel J. Stephens - 2017 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 16 (4):521-542.
Semantics without Truth in Later Mohist Philosophy of Language.Frank Saunders - 2014 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 13 (2):215-229.
Concepts of Philosophy.Raji C. Steineck (ed.) - 2018 - Boston; Leiden: Brill.

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