Authors
Xiaomei Yang
Southern Connecticut State University
Abstract
In this article, I introduce a new interpretation of the puzzling thesis “bai 白 ma 馬 fei 非 ma 馬 ” argued by Gongsun Long 公孫龍 in his essay “On White Horse.” I argue that previous interpretations, which can be grouped under the name of “attribute-object interpretations,” are not satisfactory, and that the thesis on the new interpretation is not about attributes or objects, but about names. My argument focuses on the disagreement over inseparability of white between Gongsun Long and his interlocutor in the text of “On White Horse.” On my interpretation or the name interpretation, the disagreement is about whether constituents of a syntactically complex or multi-term name are separable or have their contextually independent meanings. Gongsun Long’s thesis makes perfect sense on my interpretation, and is supported by the text and other preserved texts collected in GongsunLong Zi 公孫龍子. The name interpretation can also make sense of some puzzling expressions of sophists in the classic period.
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DOI 10.1007/s11712-019-09654-7
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References found in this work BETA

Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1981 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
Reference and Definite Descriptions.Keith S. Donnellan - 1966 - Philosophical Review 75 (3):281-304.
Meaning and Reference.Hilary Putnam - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (19):699-711.
Meaning, Expression, and Thought.Wayne A. Davis - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (3):744-747.
Language and Logic in Ancient China.Bao Zhi-Ming Chih-Ming) - 1985 - Philosophy East and West 35 (2):203-212.

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