A Few Important Landmarks in the Chinese Debates on Dialectical and Formal Logic from the 1930s

Authors

  • Jan Vrhovski University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Slovenia

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4312/as.2021.9.2.81-103

Keywords:

dialectical materialism, dialectical logic, formal logic, 1930s debates on logic, Republican China

Abstract

With the rise of the discourse on dialectical materialism in the late 1920s, ideas related to the Marxist notion of dialectical logic started to circulate in the Chinese intellectual world. Not long after the first public discussions on dialectical materialism started to emerge in the early 1930s, the discussants on both sides started to address the question of the Marxist notion of logic and its relationship with Western formal logic. Consequently, over the 1930s, a series of separate public debates ensued, in which dialectical logic contended against the “conventional” forms of logic, such as traditional Aristotelian and modern formal logic. This paper outlines the major landmarks within the public as well as internal Marxist debates on logic in the 1930s. The discussion starts with a general overview of the intellectual background of the debates, and proceeds by analysing the principal developments in them, starting with Ye Qing’s and Zhang Dongsun’s polemic about “dynamic logic” from 1933, and concluding with the internal Marxist discussions on the sublation of formal logic in the last years of the decade.

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Published

07.05.2021

How to Cite

Vrhovski, J. (2021). A Few Important Landmarks in the Chinese Debates on Dialectical and Formal Logic from the 1930s. Asian Studies, 9(2), 81–103. https://doi.org/10.4312/as.2021.9.2.81-103