Xiaomei Yang
Southern Connecticut State University
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.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11712-019-09654-7
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 60,992
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

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

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

A Double-Reference Account: Gongsun Long's "White-Horse-Not-Horse" Thesis.M. O. U. BO - 2007 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 34 (4):493–513.
Reasons and Abilities: Some Preliminaries.John Gardner - 2013 - American Journal of Jurisprudence 58 (1):63-74.
Locke and Signification.Walter R. Ott - 2002 - Journal of Philosophical Research 27:449-473.
The “White Horse is Not Horse” Debate.Lisa Indraccolo - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (10):e12434.
Regulatory Interpretation: Conversational or Constructive?Andromachi Georgosouli - 2010 - Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 30 (2):361-384.
Are Intelligible Agents Square?Clea F. Rees - 2014 - Philosophical Explorations 17 (1):17-34.
Recollecting Forms in the Phaedo.Panos Dimas - 2003 - Phronesis 48 (3):175-214.
The No-Thesis View: Making Sense of Verse 29 of Nagarjuna's Vigrahavyavartani.Jan Westerhoff - 2009 - In Mario D'Amato, Jay L. Garfield & Tom J. F. Tillemans (eds.), Pointing at the Moon: Buddhism, Logic, Analytic Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
Sense-Only-Signs: Frege on Fictional Proper Names.Mark Textor - 2011 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 82 (1):375-400.
The Naturalization of Intentionality.Jonathan Peter Wilcock - 2001 - Dissertation, City University of New York


Added to PP index

Total views
21 ( #505,419 of 2,439,394 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #433,565 of 2,439,394 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes