Research Program: History of Logic in China

History of Logic in China

Do different cultures embody fundamentally different styles of thinking? An emphasis on rigorous explicit logic has often been considered a hallmark of Western culture, dating back to Greek Antiquity. But things are more complex, and cultures sometimes have surprising similarities beyond their standard images. In fact, logic started independently, roughly around the same time, in Greece, India, and China. What does this tell us about analogies in thinking across human beings and their cultures? How do we or should we perceive it? This project pursues these questions in a systematic way, while creating resources for a broader community of scholars.

Core group:

Names of the coordinating project leaders are italicized.

  • Peter van Emde Boas (ILLC)
  • Chad Hansen (Hong Kong)
  • Christoph Harbsme- ier (Oslo)
  • Fenrong Liu (Tsinghua)
  •  Jeremy Seligman (Auckland)
  • Ai Yuan (Tsinghua)
  • Jincheng Zhai (Nankai)
  • Yinlin Guan (Tsinghua)

Key publications:

  • J. Zhai: The Basis and Ways of Constructing China’s Contemporary Knowledge System, Social Sciences in China, Issue 11, 2022
  • Z. Sun: Research on the Mohist Logic from the Perspective of Natural Logic, A Case Study of “Mou Reasoning”, Ph.D Thesis, Tsinghua University
  • Ai Yuan. Laughter in early China: The Zhuangzi and Beyond. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 84(2), 321-340, 2021
  • Zhiqiang Sun. Mou Reasoning and Natural Logic, Studies in Logic, 2022
  • The 1500 page Handbook covering Chinese, Buddhist and Western thought is being translated into definitive Chinese or English versions by an active team of experts, with a view to publication in 2023