Wed 16 Nov 2011
I’ve posted a preprint of a forthcoming paper on the concept of truth in Mohist dialectics, including the Mozi core books and the dialectical texts. The paper discusses Chad Hansen’s well-known claim that Chinese philosophy has no concept of truth. I affirm two of Hansen’s key claims, namely that early Chinese thought overall has a practical or pragmatic orientation and that early Chinese philosophy of language focuses on subsentential expresssions such as terms or phrases rather than on subject-predicate sentences. However, I argue that neither of these points entails that the Mohists are unconcerned with truth, or concerned only with some pragmatic or ethical normative status other than truth, and that the Mohist dialectical texts clearly employ concepts whose expressive role corresponds to that of truth. The full paper is available here.