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ian johnston

Of the seven works listed in the Han Shu under the “School of Names” (Mingjia),1 the Gongsun Longzi (GSLZ) is the only one that survives in original form, at least in part. In this work, textual issues are relatively unobtrusive, but there are significant questions about the nature and significance of the philosophical arguments being advanced and about the authenticity of some of the chapters. The purpose of presenting a new translation of a work that has already been translated a number of times and whose individual chapters have, in some cases, attracted particular and specific attention2 is to embody the relatively recently articulated view that the work seen as a whole (or as the whole that is currently available to us) presents an important and coherent philosophical position, and that the work should be considered as a whole, and that the traditional order of the chapters should be revised to give proper form to this position.3 Issues of authenticity are not considered in detail here. The five non-biographical chapters are accepted as genuine pre-Qin writings.4 The biographical chapter (Jifu) is added as an appendix. The Later Mohists (LM), represented by the six “dialectical” chapters of the Mozi (chapters 40–45), were clearly engaging with the same issues as Gongsun Long, perhaps even in direct debate. These six chapters are, however, bedeviled by textual uncertainty and have received much less than their due attention from Western scholars.5 The second part of this article gives brief consideration to the relationship of the LM chapters to the GSLZ, examining each chapter of the latter in turn in the hope of casting some light on this relationship.

IAN JOHNSTON, honorary research associate, Department of Asian Languages, University of Tasmania. Specialties: early Chinese philosophy, Chinese poetry, ancient Greek theories of medicine. E-mail: Journal of Chinese Philosophy 31:2 (June 2004) 271–295 © 2004 Journal of Chinese Philosophy


ian johnston

The GONGSUN LONGZI: A Translation6
GSLZ 1: On Names and Entities (MINGSHI LUN) I Heaven and earth, and what they give rise to, are things. When a thing is taken to be the thing which the thing is and there is no “going beyond,” it is an entity. When an entity is taken to be the entity which the entity is and there is no “being empty,” it is “in position.” If it goes away from its position it is “out of position.” If it is positioned in its position it is correct. It is by means of what is correct that one corrects what is not correct. It is not by means of what is not correct that one calls into doubt what is correct. Its being made correct is correcting what it is as an entity. Correcting what it is as an entity is correcting its name.

II If its name is correct then it corresponds to [specifically designates] “that” or “this.” If you name it “that,” and “that” [the name] does not correspond to [specifically designate] “that” [the entity], then “that” does not work in naming. If you name it “this,” and “this” [the name] does not correspond to [specifically designate] “this” [the entity], then “this” does not work in naming. This is to take as valid what is not valid. Taking as valid what is not valid is confusion. Therefore, if “that” [the name] and “that” [the entity] are valid for “that,” then there is a correspondence with respect to “that,” and the naming works for “that.” [Likewise], if “this” [the name] and “this” [the entity] are valid for “this,” then there is a correspondence with respect to “this,” and the naming works for “this.” This is to take as valid what is valid. Taking as valid what is valid is correctness. Therefore, for “that” [the name] and “that” [the entity] to stop at “that,” and for “this” [the name] and “this” [the entity] to stop at “this,” is admissible.

were the enlightened rulers of old. GSLZ 2: On White and Horse (BAIMA LUN) I INT: GSL: INT: GSL: Is “[a] white horse is not [a] horse” admissible? It is admissible. yellow and black horses may both be sent. . indeed. In the case of it being inadmissible to say there is not a horse. Great.” II INT: There is a white horse [so] it is inadmissible to say there is not a horse.” or if one knows that “this” is not at “this.the GONGSUN LONGZI 273 [Conversely].” then it is not named [“that”]. is there not a horse? There being a white horse is taken as there being a horse [so] how is a white horse not a horse? GSL: When a horse is sought. Great. If one knows that “that” is not “that. How so? “Horse” is what names form. What names color is not what names form. yellow and black horses may not be sent. Therefore I say: “[A] white horse is not [a] horse. When a white horse is sought. They investigated names and entities and were careful with regard to what they named. “White” is what names color.” is inadmissible. indeed. If one knows that “this” is not “this. for there to be “that” [the name] and “this” [the entity] so there is “that” as well as “this.” then it is not named [“this”]. were the enlightened rulers of old. III A name names an entity.” or for there to be “this” [the name] and “that” [the entity] so there is “this” as well as “that.” or if one knows that “that” is not at “that.

Joining horse and white [forms] the double name.” III INT: You take a horse that has color not to be a horse yet the world does not have horses without color. how is there “may be” and “may not be” with respect to yellow and black horses? That “may be” and “may not be” are mutually exclusive is evident. a horse. a white [horse] is not different from a horse. setting it aside is possible. in fact. therefore there are white horses. If what is sought is not different.” This is to take “combined with” to be the name of what is “not combined with”—surely this is inadmissible. GSL: In the case of white. Horse combined with white is not horse. it is not fixed to that which is white. . Therefore I say: “[A] white horse is not [a] horse”. “white horse. there is not rejecting or selecting in terms of color. In the case of white horse. A white horse is horse combined with white. A world without horses—is that admissible? GSL: Horses fundamentally have color. this is a case of what is sought being identical. therefore yellow and black horses both meet the requirements [for a horse]. If horses were not colored there would be horses and that is all—how would you choose a white horse? Therefore [a] white [horse] is not [a] horse. this says white is fixed to that which is white. white not combined with horse is white. but “may not be” taken to correspond to there being a white horse.274 ian johnston If a white horse is. Therefore yellow and black horse are the same in that they “may be” taken to correspond to there being a horse. What is fixed to that which is white is not [identical with] white. Therefore to say. “[a] white horse is not [a] horse” is inadmissible. This verifies “[a] white horse is not [a] horse. IV INT: Horse not combined with white is horse. In the case of horse. If what is sought is identical.

white and stone are three—is that admissible? It is not admissible. . there is rejecting or selecting in terms of color. it is inadmissible to say there is a horse when there is a white horse. GSLZ 3: On Hard and White (JIANBAI LUN) I INT: GSL: INT: GSL: Hard. To differentiate a yellow horse from a horse is to take a yellow horse as not being a horse. it is inadmissible to take saying “horse is horse.the GONGSUN LONGZI 275 In the case of white horse. Therefore what is taken as there being a horse is to take horse alone as there being a horse. Therefore I say. and to say there being a white horse is for there to be a yellow horse—is this admissible? INT: It is inadmissible. What does not involve rejection is not [identical with] what does involve rejection. Therefore only a white horse alone may meet the requirement. yellow and black horses all being rejected on the basis of color.” GSL: To take there being a white horse as there being a horse. These are the world’s perverse words and confusing statements. To take a yellow horse as not being a horse yet to take a white horse as being a horse—this is like a flying creature entering a pool or the inner and outer coffins being in different places. If there is not setting aside. “[a] white horse is not [identical with] [a] horse.” V INT: If it is inadmissible to say there is not a horse when there is a white horse. and not there being a white horse as there being a horse. Is two admissible? It is admissible. GSL: To take there being a horse as different from there being a yellow horse is to differentiate a yellow horse from a horse. there is setting aside the saying of white. Therefore in the case of taking there to be a horse.

so are there not three? GSL: Seeing. Without the white one gets the hard—two are raised. the seen and the not seen. Yet it is the stone that is thus. The one and the two do not fill each other and are therefore separate. IV INT: Its whiteness. In a world without hardness it would not be possible to feel the stone. It is not that it is hidden and so concealed. the two and the three. Touching. the seen and the not seen. are like breadth and length and mutually fill one another. How is there concealing itself? GSL: Getting its whiteness. If you get its hardness you cannot say there is not hardness. getting its hardness. and the stone certainly achieve filling of one another. you do not get its hardness but you do get its whiteness so there is not hardness. V INT: The stone’s whiteness.276 ian johnston INT: How so? GSL: Without the hard one gets the white—two are raised. Hard. its hardness. are separate. white and stone do not exclude one another—is it possible to hide the third? GSL: It hides itself. Is this a false raising? . Being separate is being concealed. the stone’s hardness. III INT: In a world without whiteness it would not be possible to see the stone. you do not get its whiteness but you do get its hardness so there is not whiteness. II INT: If you get its whiteness you cannot say there is not whiteness.

The world does not have what is like hardness. Not joined with things it is hardness. and exist in the stone. then. They [the senses] differ in their duties. one does not substitute for the other. it is not a stone. There is the seen in it and there is the not seen in it. the known in it and there is the not known in it. it cannot be said that there is not hardness and it cannot be said that there is not whiteness. the hand is not able [to perceive] whiteness. how is it able to make white stones and things? If white is essentially whiteness. Therefore the known and the not known are separate from one another. GSL: The stone is one. There is not a hard stone thing and hardness. hardness is concealed. hard and white are two. How is it the stone’s [specific attribute]? VI INT: If you touch the stone and it is not hard. [Still]. and hardness is essentially hardness. A thing that is hard does not limit [“fix”] its hardness. If white is fundamentally not able to exist by itself.the GONGSUN LONGZI 277 GSL: A thing that is white does not limit [“fix”] its whiteness. . What is not limited [“fixed”] is shared [general]. who is to say there is not separation? VII INT: The eye is not able [to perceive] hardness. There is. white and stone not being separate from one another was originally the case and was never otherwise. the seen and the not seen are hidden from one another. Hard. Hard and white are bounded in the stone—how are they separate? GSL: Hardness not joined with stone is hardness and things share [it]. Because of the concealment. how are there not white things and white? The same goes for yellow and black. If it is not a stone there is not that which “selects” white.

and the spirit also not knowing. and the eyes see by means of light. Separation is because of this. This is striking and the hand knowing but [striking] not knowing. the spirit! This is to speak of separation. INT: What is changed? . Separation is a consequence of the world so it is correct to take these things as independent. INT: If right is “combined with. Is it admissible to say left is two? It is inadmissible. The results of sense perception and cognition are dissimilar due to this. Does two comprise right? Two does not comprise right. the hand knows by means of striking. Moreover it is like whiteness is seen by means of the eyes.278 ian johnston If stones did not have [these]. Hardness is known by means of the hand. Ah. Then light and the eyes do not see yet the spirit sees. Is it admissible to say right is two? It is inadmissible. GSLZ 4: On Conjunction and Change (TONGBIAN LUN)7 I INT: GSL: INT: GSL: INT: GSL: INT: GSL: INT: GSL: INT: GSL: Does two comprise one? Two does not comprise one. Is it admissible to say left combined with right is two? It is admissible. The spirit [itself] does not see.” is it appropriate to say it is “changed?” GSL: It is admissible. II INT: Is it admissible to say “changed” negates “not changed?” GSL: It is admissible. how could one select a hard white stone? Therefore there is separation. nevertheless light does not see. Does two comprise left? Two does not comprise left. and seeing is separate.

yet that ram-ox is not ram or not ox is inadmissible. it is one. how is it that two is left “combined with” right? GSL: Ram joined with ox is not horse. III INT: How is this so? GSL: Ram combines with ox although different.the GONGSUN LONGZI 279 GSL: Right. Ram has horns. yet that ram is ox. It is raised in this way because the classes are not the same. yet they are not of the same class. In speaking of fowl’s foot. is inadmissible. IV GSL: Ram-ox has fur. In speaking of ox-ram’s foot. fowl has feathers. . Therefore it is said that ram joined with ox is not horse. there is no horse. INT: If right is changed. This they do both have. in counting the feet there are four. In taking horse and taking fowl. Ram has upper incisors. ox joined with sheep is not fowl. Horse has a horse-hair tail. This they do not both have. yet ram and ox are two. how is it admissible to speak of “changed?” If two does not comprise left and also does not comprise right. In the case of no-horse. In the case of not-horse. ox has horns. horse does not have horns. in counting a fowl’s feet there are two. yet they are bounded in a class. This is both ram and ox but not horse being admissible.” On the basis of what they do not have they are not fowl. fowl’s feet are three. ram-ox does not have a horse-hair tail. it is one. Ox-ram’s feet are five. ram is not two and ox is not two. ox does not. horse is preferred. two and one—therefore three. four and one—therefore five. This is what was raised regarding right and left. Ram-ox has horns. Therefore it is said: “Ox joined with ram is not fowl. how is it admissible to speak of “right?” If [right] is not changed. or ox is ram.

is [related to] wood subduing metal. then.” It is like prince and minister in relation to the kingdom [which is] therefore strong and enduring. Of the two examples. so jade-green then is not a “correct raising. Therefore. They are not mutually adjoining but if they are mutually adjoining. Wood subduing metal is jade-green. That white is sufficient to overcome. they are contrary and opposing. GSL: Green combined with white is not yellow. this is called “wild raising. are they to be yellow? Yellow is pure [primary]: this is “correct raising. [this] does not harm their direction. and the two are distinct. they do not mix. Not harming their direction lies in their being contrary and opposing. being made one in green is not possible [just as] being made one in white is not possible. When they contend and the two are distinct. Moreover. then the two are distinct. In the case of the two being distinct. there is confusion not clarity. If there is violence then prince and minister contend.280 ian johnston It should be judged on the basis of useful and not useful. INT: How is this so? GSL: Green and white are not mutually combined but if they are mutually combined. How.” V INT: Pass to other differentiations. which negates “correct raising. yellow is preferable to jade-green. yet if they are mutually combined and do not overcome each other. not on the basis of class.” Green and white are not mutually combined. Each is appropriate to its place [and like] left and right. white combined with green is not jade-green. if green is mixed with white. Raising this is to confuse names. yet does not overcome. Yellow is like horse—in its combining it forms a class. then white does not overcome.” . then the color is jade-green. Jade-green is like fowl—in its combining it does violence [to class].

wu cannot be spoken of as not zhi. When the two are distinct.the GONGSUN LONGZI 281 In the case of negating “correct raising. If the world did not have zhi. In the case of it being inadmissible to speak of zhi. a wu]. yet zhi are not zhi.” name and entity are not as they should be and mixed colors appear. there are not zhi. wu are in every case not zhi.e. In the case of there not being zhi.. there is negation of there not being zhi. In fact. by naming] what is a zhi.. the Way is lost and has no means of being made correct. The negation of there not being zhi allows wu in every case to be zhi. In the case of the world joining zhi. zhi are what the world joins. In the case of there not being zhi. Wu are what the world does have. wu are in every case zhi. . To take what is not a zhi [i. If the world did not have zhi. wu would have no means of being spoken of as wu. yet zhi are not zhi.e. yet wu could not be spoken of as not zhi. which is to join what is not the zhi. how would the world and wu be spoken of as zhi? Zhi are what the world does not have. II That the world does not have zhi gives rise to wu each having a name which is not the zhi. and to proceed to [i. It [the name] is not the zhi yet it is used to speak about the zhi. If the world did not have zhi. In the case of negation of there not being zhi. this would negate there not being zhi. To take what the world does have to be what the world does not have is inadmissible. Wu are in every case zhi. is inadmissible. In the case of not being able to be spoken of as not zhi. wu could not be spoken of as zhi. so it is said that the two are distinct. GSLZ 6: On Zhi and Wu (ZHIWU LUN)8 I Wu are in no case not zhi.

Among three possible uses for wei.e. there is the statement: “That which all sages first attend to is the necessary correspondence of names and entities.. not wu and zhi.” while later in the same section it is said the names (ming) are used to pick out (ju) entities (shi). fundamental of course in early Chinese philosophy. and particularizing) while A79 defines wei. ju (A31). with respect to these terms. do they not wait on wu and then combine [with them] to be zhi? Related Later Mohist Passages I. used extensively in MSL II and III. This is also the sense in which it is used in the E of A50—a name “stops” at the extremes of the range of the entity in question. Zhi combined with wu are not zhi. a very contentious section of the DQ. looking back to its definition as “picking out” an entity in A31. in the MSL II the sense of zhi is of a name “stopping at” (i. there is some variation in focus—for example. In the second pair. one of the components is categorized as “examining the principles of name and entity. Mingshi Lun The issue of ming and shi and their inter-relationship. This particularly applies to the quasi-technical usage of both zhi and zai. In the first pair. to pick out) is included.9 Also in the XQ1. [If] the world did not have zhi. B80). shi is defined in relation to rong in A11—basically there is equivalence of meaning and usage across the two texts. B10. and zai (B53). Thus. In the C&Es10 there is analysis not only of the primary terms ming and shi (A78 for the former. who could directly speak of “not zhi. being restricted to) a particular object or kind of object. who could directly speak of the “not zhi” [i.e. zhi (“to stop”—A50. [If] the world had zhi. B68 shows a clear correspondence insofar as the first two of the three instances given in the E match the final two statements of MSL II.” Moreover zhi are fundamentally and of themselves not the “not zhi”. classifying. in outlining the program of bian (disputation). A78 identifies three different types of function for ming (generalizing. in the Daqu (DQ11). If the world did not have wu. A11 & A31 for the latter) but also definitions of the other important terms within the GSLZ essay.” or could directly speak of “there not being wu not zhi. the wu]. who could directly speak of zhi.. .282 ian johnston Zhi negate there not being zhi. Name and entity are not necessarily in accord. Two pairs of C&Es are of particular importance in relation to the MSL. B1). wu (B3.” although this is. ju (to raise. Thus. specifically wei (A79). is given considerable attention in the LM chapters. it must be said. Although.

To ride a white horse is to ride a horse.” In the statement. which.11 the over-riding impression is one of essential similarity. Baima Lun There is very little in the LM writings specifically related to the Baima Lun (BML).” Other related references include A78 where “horse” is identified as a “classifying” name and also the very problematic B82.” is the essence of the program of making names correct. one of which is white. A black horse is horse. In B72. Moreover. for the “School of Names.the GONGSUN LONGZI 283 although phrased slightly differently. the LM does give the impression at least of writing in rebuttal of GSL’s claim.e. There are.e. however.12 In the expression of this apparently divergent position. there is close correspondence to the initial statement of MSL II. Although there have been different opinions on the concordance or otherwise of the views expressed by GSL and the LM. Only in this way can names be correctly applied. It must be noted.. a white horse is a horse) and “this-not this” representing the contrary (i. despite the absence of any mention of horse or white. if one accepts the emendation of the head character. not only is this importance clearly apparent but also the focus is broadly the same as in the GSLZ. which in their particular and individual manifestations are entities (shi).e. . In the first (XQ5) the LM writes: “A white horse is a horse. the claim being that what is said (or predicated) of something must correspond to (specifically designate) that something for the saying ‘to work’. “names and entities” is an important and recurring topic in the LM chapters of the Mozi. In the C&E.. which he describes as the Xingmingjia position.e. “not being empty”). II. indicating GSL. unlike the MSL. This. particularly the MSL. Tan Jiefu takes to be about the white horse argument with thisthis representing the Mingjia position (i. There cannot be the case of “one horse and some are white. “not going beyond”) and by having sufficient content (i. Names (ming) are applied to. that the C for B68 is quite problematical and also that an additional instance considering the applicability of “this” and “that” is given in the E. “some horses are white.. That is. white horse is not horse).” In the second (XQ9) it is said:“A white horse is a horse.” there must be at least two horses.. the world consists of things (wu). in the XQ two apparently unequivocal statements of opposition to the GSL position. specific examples are given. In summary then. To be effective the name must be able to designate specifically the entity in question by having a valid or proper scope (i. entities in order to identify them consistently. however. To ride a black horse is to ride a horse. or used to name (wei).

appears to articulate an anti-GSL position. Most important are the three C&Es: A65. such as a stone. which is the subject of A65 and the central issue of the exchange between GSL and his Interlocutor in JBL IV. or are they separate (GSL’s position)? A67 essentially reiterates this point. there being a progressive recognition of the difference between general and specific names (gongming and bieming). the following clear statement in opposition to GSL: “The stone is one. and the XQ and DQ references given above. appear to bear on the “hard and white” issue. A somewhat different interpretation is offered by Wu Feibai. Wu presents a plausible argument which. and are in the stone. each of which. hard and white are two. however. “hard” and “white” are mutually co-extensive.” B38 continues this line of argument. In the C the term ying is defined as “both obtained. The E for A66 extends the discussion of ying (“to fill”). The focus here will be confined to those judged to be of particular relevance. and A67. C&Es B3 and B67. the former being important also in Graham’s argument that the JBL is a later forgery.” The LM’s (and Interlocutor’s) argument is. that in a body in which both are present. Of particular interest are B37 and B38. A66. despite notable textual difficulties. A66 contains the explicit statement that “hard and white are not mutually exclusive. Jianbai Lun Aspects of the “hard and white” argument are raised in a considerable number of C&Es—in excess of twenty. although it is not mentioned as such. Other C&Es of direct relevance include B5. should remind us of the uncertainty surrounding the chronology of these texts and their putative authors.13 III. . Thus. The argument in B38. and by extension that in the ZWL. and B16.3 and 4.” which is again contrary to GSL’s position in the JBL where he describes “hard” and “white” as “separately obtained.284 ian johnston It is. there is.” which is identical with the initial part of the final statement by the Interlocutor in JBL III.14 With a head character yu (the preposition). utilizing the contentious character zhi (“to point”). Important in this presumed sequence are Mencius VIA. and will be considered in relation to GSLZ 5 (Zhiwu Lun) where it has generated so much difficulty. at the very least. then. notable that this presumed response is in the nature of a peremptory dismissal rather than a reasoned refutation. moreover. Do the properties/attributes “hard” and “white” fill (ying) the stone (the Interlocutor’s position). does. B15. in the E. He identifies a chronological sequence in the development of the “white horse discussion” which places GSL’s argument as a response to earlier views.

involve issues relating to substance and attribute. The final two .” One is by vision as a “white stone” and one is by touch as a “hard stone. in Western terms. to do with perception and the role of “mind” in synthesizing the data acquired by primary perception. version of the JBL. the question of how they are perceived is irrelevant to the reality. As alluded to above. supposedly forged. It would seem. and there are its two attributes (hard and white). B6. in which they are manifest. in the hard white stone.” Moreover. in part. IV. in various classes. argues that the LM writings provided the material for the later. the components thereof preserve their individual identity or change.” The two are the work of different sense modalities. for example. or any other body. GSL’s position is that there are two possible forms of perception of the “hard white stone. and by extension other. although GSL’s term ying is not used. that is. For the LM there are. hence their “separation. although the translation as given allows some ambiguity on this point. the relevant LM passages may be divided into three groups as follows: (i) Those with general reference to classes and classification. Graham. at least in part. they are “hidden” in that the non-appropriate sense modality cannot perceive the other quality. (ii) Those with specific reference to numbers—there is none that considers left and right— corresponding to TBL I and II. that GSL’s JBL and the LM writings consistently advance quite opposing views on the subject of “hard and white. B47. For GSL then.the GONGSUN LONGZI 285 Less immediately relevant are the C&Es B4. and to questions of epistemology. Although not explicitly stated. attributes. Tongbian Lun Taking the TBL to be about the conjunction of entities to form classes. There is the stone (the substance). but there must be a stone for them to “fill. which are.” although the matter is contentious. There is also mention on two occasions in the DQ (DQ11 and DQ13) of properties “filling” an entity. they “fill” the stone. and the issue of whether. to the ontological status of universals. then.15 To summarize. although the mind can make the synthesis. in the ZWL and in C&Es B38 and B39. It is these issues that appear to be addressed. and B48. the issue emerges as to whether these attributes (“hard” and “white”) have an existence independent of the stone. B46. which. three things. It does seem that GSL is committed to postulating the independent existence of these. (iii) Those that consider classes in terms of domestic animals—corresponding to TBL III. which are co-extensive throughout the stone.” There are obviously important ramifications of these opposing positions.

the observation is made that “making inferences about class is difficult. E: One: When squares complete a class they all have one criterion. some being wood and some being stone. which is given in full as follows: C: When things belong together under one criterion this completes a class.” the problem being variability of scope. horse). The explanation lies in squareness. somewhat different from those in the TBL I and II. In A60. In the E of B2. the E states: “In the case of 2 che and 1 che [the difference is] simply doing away with 1. however. fowl) while the LM considers only two (ox. like squares.286 ian johnston sections of the TBL (TBL IV & V) are of doubtful authenticity and have no significant corresponding passages in the LM writings.” the decrease applying to what remains. 1 is identified as “part” of 2. This does not. harm their mutual coming together. in fact. although there are several C&Es that consider numerical combination. (iii) Domestic animals: Comparison of the two positions (GSL in the TBL and the LM) with respect to domestic creatures is difficult. All things are like this. these considerations are.” this being exemplified in the E by several pairings of disparate things. They complete a class. in the definition of “to double” (bei). The most important general statement is. the C states: “One is said of a part done away with” while the E says: “If of two. (i) General references: Of these. two of the smaller component classes (ox. then. horse.” This is. Overall. particularly in terms of interpretation. it is not joined with the part remaining. four are worthy of particular note. Two of the C&Es already referred to do give some consideration to this topic. like the collecting together of squares. and the larger class. a very problematical C&E. horse). the “totality of things.” Two other C&Es that have some relation to the combination of numbers are B4 and B59. distinctions are made between the class of four-footed animals.” In the latter. and also fewer criteria. In the paired definitions of “decrease” and “increase” (A45. The C for B12 reads: “In combining to be one there is either conforming or there is not. ox. not least because GSL considers four creatures (ram. however.” No E is added here but the issue is further considered in B13 where the C reads: “There is combining together and there is particularizing one part.” In the E for B13 there is . the C states that “1 is less than 2 yet more than 5. although they are different. one is lost. for example cicadas and zithers. A46). In the former. defining “part” (ti). In the C of B2. which has “one” (yi) as the head character. (ii) Numbers: There are four definitions of relevance. to be found in B65. the former is characterized as “a part going. however. In B7 there is the statement that “different classes are not comparable. In A2.” In this case the E considers both domestic animals (specifically ox and horse) and also fingers.

” Moreover. then. both Chinese and otherwise. It is not surprising. V. by Cheng. as things stand. then ox and horse are one. it would seem. or perhaps criticism of the former by the latter.” although on different grounds. Zhiwu Lun The ZWL has presented all commentators. “wild raising”).16 and the latter in his strongly presented view that the argument in the TBL is primarily about change in relation to the ming/shi nexus. The LM makes the distinction between the classes “ox” and “horse” on the basis of the presence or absence of horns. Both Qian Mu and Wu Feibai pay close attention to the connection between the TBL and the LM writings. remain tentative. on issues of class. the combined class “ox-horse” is “not ox” and “not horse. Nonetheless. finds evidence of conflict between the two positions along the lines of Xingmingjia versus Mingjia.19 The likelihood is. as elsewhere. but also the textual difficulties in the C&Es.17 Tan Jiefu. that there is some opposition between GSL and the LM.” and this combined class is distinguishable from both the classes “horse” and “fowl. It cannot be on the basis of incisors or tails—this is “wild raising. in essence. which has a head character kuang in relation to ju (kuang ju. but that. If you count ox and you count horse. although their dentition is different. which is amplified. Although . then. particularly with respect to B66 and B67. that several important contributions embody quite conflicting views. although both have horns. or the number of feet. So.” The most important C&Es are.18 The most detailed consideration is that given by Mou Zongsan. however. What GSL appears to be saying in the TBL III and IV is that you can join “ram” and “ox” to form one class.the GONGSUN LONGZI 287 the statement: “ ‘Combining as one’ is like ox-horse being four-footed. they also constitute separate classes. B66. The combined class “ram-ox” is distinguishable from the class “horse” on the basis of the nature of the tail. then ox and horse are two. A similar argument can be advanced with regard to fowl on the basis of the presence or absence of feathers. and B67. the situation is less than entirely clear.” Is this intended as a refutation of GSL? Any conclusions must. with very considerable difficulties of interpretation. one can combine “ox” and “ram” into a combined class “ox-ram. particularly in relation to modern views of concept and class. the former especially in his commentary on the final section of the TBL. which has a head character niu (ox) as part of the combined class ox-horse. If you count ox-horse. ‘Only this’ is like ox and horse [separately]. given not only the discrepancies spoken of in relation to creatures and criteria.

In both instances a number of commentators emend the text to allow zhi to be read as “finger” (a man’s finger). or “single pointing” to any one of the three. DQ15) the usage of zhi is very similar. and 15. specifically. hard and white are two. a meaning similar to that in the ZWL is appropriate. To speak of a man’s attributes/manifestations is not to speak of the man as he is in himself.’ Nevertheless. 13. what is known as one man is also [known] through his various attributes/manifestations. “hard” and “white. In the other two (DQ9. Although there are some textual difficulties with the examples. In B39 there is consideration of things that can be known about but cannot be pointed to. DQ2). Therefore it is said: ‘this one man’s attributes/manifestations are indeed this one man. Ren zhi are a man’s attributes/manifestations. Thus Wu Yujiang. There are. but if the text is not emended. in fact. in a detailed comment on DQ15. it is important to recognize their context in that these two C&Es immediately follow a C&E about “hard and white. the zhi of the GSLZ’s ‘wu mo fei zhi’ (things are in no case without attributes/manifestations).g. the major one is undoubtedly the meaning of zhi itself. other instances where the meaning is obviously not “finger” and where the usage may relate more or less closely to that in GSL’s ZWL. These are. which reads: C: In one.” B37. In LM writings. and are in the stone. “hard. Considering the C&Es first. Thus it is said: ‘one man’s attributes/manifestations are not one man. Set aside these various attributes/manifestations and you may not be able to know the man.” “white. that is. E: In: Stone is one. the argument seems clear—things like “spring” (the season). The explanation lies in existing.” (ii) jian zhi.” The LM identifies a tripartite division of zhi (pointing): (i) zhi.288 ian johnston there are several identifiably separate problems. or “combined pointing” to any two of the three. a “runaway servant.’ ”20 . there are a number of instances where zhi clearly means “finger” (e. Therefore. makes specific reference to the ZWL: “Zhi is. Of the three instances in the DQ where zhi is used such that it may not mean “finger. there is the known in it and there is the not known in it. or “crosswise pointing” to all three together. The “pointing out” in B38 should.” or “stone. “there is the known in it and there is the not known in it” is permissible.” and the distinction between “pup” and “dog.” one (DQ13) is so troubled by textual difficulties that it would be dangerous to draw any conclusions from it. then. almost certainly be taken as relating to the stone and its two attributes or qualities.” cannot be identified by ostension. however.. (iii) heng zhi. C&Es B38 and B39 as well as DQ9.

to things that cannot be pointed to (B39). including those that have no related wu. despite the difficulties due to its terse and enigmatic style. the purpose being to facilitate the analysis of the relationship between an object as a whole (wu) and its attributes (zhi).22 Conclusions The objective of this article has been to provide a new.21 The LM do not seem to be articulating a position contrary to this. which can be separately indicated or denoted. here placed first. or that of concepts generally.23 Four conclusions might be drawn from this presentation. Thus. They do. which again bears on double or compound names. complete translation of the GSLZ that takes into account the substantial amount of recent material on this work.the GONGSUN LONGZI 289 From the comparison of the GSL essay and these LM passages it seems reasonable to conclude that both are using zhi in the same quasi-technical sense.” specifically the addition of an adjective to a noun. that wu and zhi are distinct. the TBL treats of altered names resulting from inclusion of a named entity in a conjoined entity or a class. appear to be extending the discussion. however. that is. that is. of achieving a proper correlation between entities and names. as a critically important component of the work. the GSLZ is fundamentally about the establishment of a secure foundation for the program of correcting names. . In the GSL essay. (ii) zhi combined with wu are not zhi. the JBL examines the issue of the relationship between substance and attribute. recent discussions of the ZWL notwithstanding. This is what is made clear in the MSL. the BML offers a dialogue on the question of “double names. thereby countering Graham’s claim that this short essay should be dismissed as trivial. One of the key features of this reappraisal of the GSLZ is the recognition of the MSL. In neither text is there analysis of the issue of the relationship between percept and concept. and (iii) zhi are zhi. and to examine its relationship to the LM chapters of the Mozi. First. while the ZWL addresses some of the issues raised by the three preceding dialogues—basically that the thing or object that presents to sense perception is a compound of substance and attributes that can be separately “pointed to” and are therefore different from the totality of the thing (wu). The remaining four essays essentially explore areas of difficulty within this overall program. it is probable that Mou Zongsan is correct in his brief enumeration of the limited number of claims being made: (i) wu are not zhi. and wu are wu. albeit very briefly.

there are the works attributed to Deng Xi and Yin Wen (although both works now bearing the names of these two philosophers are considered to be post-Han compilations). A comprehensive list of non-Chinese writings on the GSLZ. Fourth. vol. although their range is far wider. such as the white horse issue and aspects of the substance/attribute relationship as raised in the JBL. the foundational position of the “correction of names” program. a work by Hui Shi possibly partly preserved in the several lists of paradoxes in works such as the Zhuangzi. 1736–1737) lists seven works totaling 36 pian.24 Third. There also appears to be a somewhat different position taken on the matter of the relationship between wu and zhi. organized by Geoffrey Lloyd. and aspects of class as they pertain to naming. 2. and works by Mao Gong. it is hard to be sure. Anne Cheng. part-English translation of the GSLZ. there is the impression that at least in part the LM writings were in response to GSL’s arguments. considerable attention being given to issues with no counterparts in the GSLZ. Under the ‘School of Names’. and Cheng Gongsheng of which there is now no trace. particularly where they bear on the central doctrines of Mohism. I thank them for their valuable criticisms and suggestions. I would particularly like to thank Geoffrey Lloyd whose interest in this work over a number of years is greatly appreciated and who had the idea for the workshop and also John-Paul Reding who let me have a copy of his part-German. Roel Sterckx. including both complete translations and studies of individual chapters or particular aspects. there are areas of concordance of viewpoint. Apart from the Gongsun Longzi.290 ian johnston Second. the LM writings most certainly focus on the same set of issues as the GSLZ.”25 Nonetheless. on the temporal relationship between the GSLZ and the LM writings. and Paul Thompson. Kim Taylor. which was prior and which was subsequent cannot now be known. There are also areas of discordance. on the topics common to the GSLZ and the LM writings. On this point it is an intriguing but presently unanswerable question whether these issues were addressed in the supposedly missing chapters of the GSLZ. In addition. John Moffett. specifically the nature and importance of the name/entity relationship. Australia Endnotes * I am indebted to those who participated in a most stimulating workshop on my translations of Mingjia and Later Mohist texts at the Needham Research Institute in Cambridge in June 2003. one must at present agree with Wu Feibai’s observation: “In the study of the GSLZ and the Mobian. and Sue Bennett and attended also by Timothy Barrett. Jean-Paul Reding. UNIVERSITY OF TASMANIA Tasmania. the Han Shu (Yiwen Zhi. Christopher Cullen. 6. Huang Gong. pp. 1. Michael Loewe. although without a precise understanding of the meaning of the latter term in this debate. is given by Feng .

1994). 20. The following translation is based on a study of many Chinese texts and commentaries. 6. “Choosing the Greater and Choosing the Lesser: A Translation and Analysis of the Daqu and Xiaoqu Chapters of the Mozi. 249–262. 5. 8. “Philosophical Significance of Gongsun Long: A New Interpretation of Zhi as Meaning and Reference. Different versions offered by translators include: On Variation and Divergence (Y. 170–176. C. 19. On the Explanation of Change (Chan Wing-tsit).” Philosophy East and West 52 (2002):190–206. and even-handed treatment by Feng Yaoming. . 1964). 1995). 53) equates tong with xianghu rongtong (mutually blending or permeating). Wu Yujiang. pp. One modern Chinese version (Ding Chengquan. Discourse on Conclusions Drawn from Changes (M. The translations and the numbering of the Canons and Explanations are the author’s own. and by H. have been dominant. See Wu Feibai. p. Cheng Chung-ying. Chen Guimiao. 171–172). pp. Mou Zongsan. 57–65. Among Western scholars the views of A. 10. Perleberg). pp. Hu Quyuan & Chen Jinkun. 15. The section numbers are those used in that article. 17. pp. 21. Later Mohist Logic. Mobian Fawei (Beijing: Zhonghua Shuju. Tan Jiefu. Johnston. C. 349–350. Mozi Jiaozhu (Beijing: Zhonghua Shuju. specific textual issues are not considered here. 404–406. pp. pp. 13. 548–555. The central problem (but by no means the only one) in this brief and enigmatic argument is the meaning of zhi. 18. on this issue context is of paramount importance. Later Mohist Logic. transliterates zhi in his recent partial translation (pp. See particularly Cheng Chung-ying. The variety of versions in translation and in explanations in modern Chinese editions and commentaries attest to the magnitude of the problem. P. p. See A. as set out in his detailed work. K. 14. In the absence of the Chinese text. Qian Mu. 162–168. Those on whom particular reliance was placed include Wu Feibai. Tan Jiefu. 325–329. Zhou Yunzhi. 8–24. “The ‘Hard and White’ Disputations of the Chinese Sophists” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 30 (1967):358–368. and also his Later Mohist Logic. 1931). Zhongguo Gu Mingjia Yan (Beijing: Zhongguo Tiedao. Kou). “Gongsun Long on what is not: Steps toward the deciphering of the Zhiwulun. Details are available on request. See Zhou Yunzhi. The issue of authenticity is given a recent. Science and Ethics. It is notable that Cheng Chung-ying. preface. pp. pp. 7. Graham. 22. 57–71. 1983). pp.” Journal of Chinese Philosophy 24 (1997):139–177. A detailed list of such works is provided by Feng Yaoming. Sur le Muable et le Immuable (I. and Feng Yaoming himself. 9. Mei). 1978). 4. Wu Yujiang. 4. note 166. Clearly. 12. A. Qian Mu. Science and Ethics. Ding Chengquan. detailed. Science and Ethics (Hong Kong: Chinese University Press. C. to recognize that in many instances his textual emendations and re-arrangements and his interpretations are at odds with those of various Chinese commentators. pp. Vittinghof. 11. Graham. 531–537. 16. pp.the GONGSUN LONGZI 291 3. pp. Comments on the Daqu (DQ) and Xiaoqu (XQ) are based on the translation given in I. “Recent Bibliography in Classical Chinese Philosophy” Journal of Chinese Philosophy 28 (2001):168–170. 639. Thinking through Change (J-P Reding). Mingbian Xuelun (Shenyang: Liaoning Jiaoyu. Tan Jiefu. Mou Zongsan Mingjia yu Xunzi (Taipei: Tiawan Xuesheng Shuju. Wu Feibai. It is important. A full Chinese text with detailed annotation and commentary to accompany the translation can be obtained from the author. 2000). Graham. Yaoming (Gongsun Longzi) (Taipei: Dongda Tushu. J-P Reding. however. who has engaged with the problems of this essay over many years. There is variation in how tong is understood in the title. 1993). I have thought it best to simply transliterate the two key terms and then consider possible meanings separately. p.” Journal of Chinese Philosophy 27 (2000):375–407. Hui Shi Gongsun Long (Shanghai: Commercial Press. 262–271.

Then Chuan will request to be your pupil. which is first to teach me and afterwards have me as your teacher.” he said that “white” is what names color and “horse” is what names form. (p. In speaking of form it is not proper to attach color. Graham wrote that the MSL “. but he lost his bow. See note 1 above. Sir. He abhorred divergence and disorder with regard to name and entity so.” Asia Major (NS) 5 (1955–56):147–183.” See “The Composition of the Gongsuen Long Tzyy. If you now cause me to discard this. ‘white horse is not horse’ is something Zhong Ni accepted.” Long said: “Your words are perverse. then I have no means of teaching. . This being so. First to teach me and afterwards have me as your teacher is perverse. contains nothing but the commonplace that words must be used in accordance with the things to which they refer expressed in very obscure and sententious language. I heard that you were noble and righteous and have wished to be your pupil for a long time but I do not accept your taking a white horse to be not a horse. I have heard that the King of Chu took up the Fan-ruo bow and loaded it with the Wang-gui arrow in order to shoot at dragon and rhinoceros in Yunmeng park. Long and Kong Chuan met at the house of Prince Ping-yuan of Zhao. Chuan said: “Formerly. That is the discrepancy between the five chapters (apart from the biographical chapter) included in current editions and the 14 pian listed in the Han Shu. 501. the desire for a teacher comes from one’s wisdom and learning being inferior.292 ian johnston 23. yet there is a black colored horse. Why seek it?” When Zhong Ni heard this he said: . See Wu Feibai. I ask you to do away with this artifice. In speaking of color it is not valid to combine form. Color is not form and form is not color. because of the abundance of his talent. If it is lost then a white horse is ultimately not a horse. Further. a Chu man will find it. He wished to extend this debate as a way of correcting name and entity. 149). Now you would cause Long to discard this. The attendants asked if they might seek it. p. Taking things as examples. he used the Shoubai argument to say that white horse is not horse. Moreover. he fashioned the Shoubai [“Preserving the White”] discussion. 24. Now to join [them] and take [them] to be one thing is wrong. it is inadmissible to consider there to be a white horse. . The way I acquired my reputation was just through the ‘white horse’ discussion. With respect to “white horse is not horse. 25. If it is inadmissible to consider there to be a white horse then the horse which is sought is lost. Appendix: GSLZ 6: A Treasury of Traces (JIFU) Gongsun Long was a dialectician of the Six Kingdoms period. It is like seeking a white horse in a stable and there is not one. and so transform the empire. The King said: “Stop! A Chu king has mislaid his bow.

If you wish to learn. then although there were a hundred Longs. whereupon Yin Wen said: “Suppose there were this man. Sir. Now to instruct me to do away with ‘white horse is not a horse. saying: “I have a great love of scholars yet in the kingdom of Qi there are no scholars—why is that?” Yin Wen replied: “I wish to hear what the great king has to say about scholars. certainly none would be able to set themselves properly before you. is perverse. is first to teach someone and afterwards learn from him. Long’s teaching is by means of the ‘white horse is not a horse’ Cause me to do away with this and then there is nothing with which to teach. He should say. in intercourse with friends was sincere. The King of Qi spoke to Yin Wen. in serving his prince was loyal. a man will find it’. your desire to study with me implies that in wisdom and scholarship you are not my equal. ‘a man lost the bow and also. Gongsun Long was a guest of Prince Ping-yuan of Zhao. in a wide hall among a crowd of . Nevertheless. If he had these four characteristics could he be called a scholar?” The King of Qi replied:“Excellent! This is truly someone I would call a scholar.the GONGSUN LONGZI 293 “The King of Chu is benevolent and righteous yet does not get to the root of the matter. and it is the only thing of yours that I do not accept. For it to be right for Zhong Ni to differentiate ‘Chu man’ from what is called ‘man’ and wrong for Long to differentiate ‘white horse’ from what is called ‘horse’.” Kong Chuan had no way of replying. and in his dealings with fellow villagers was agreeable. You. Your teaching me is like the King of Qi speaking to Yin Wen. from my lowly position I had long heard of your reputation.” At that time the King of Qi loved courage. For a long time I have wished to become your pupil and now I have seen you. Chuan met Long. there is that of yours which I do not accept. Chuan spoke to Long. cultivate Confucian methods yet you reject what Zhong Ni accepted. in serving his parents was filial. yet would cause Long to do away with what he teaches. which is to take a white horse not to be a horse. admired your wisdom and esteemed your virtuous conduct. Yin Wen said: “Now suppose in this place there were a man who.” The King of Qi had no way of replying. I entreat you to do away with the ‘white horse is not a horse’ teaching and Chuan will ask to be your pupil. Why must there be ‘Chu’?” In this way Zhong Ni differentiated a Chu man from what is called a man. Still to study with me when I have nothing with which to teach is perverse.” Gongsun Long replied: “Your words are perverse. Moreover.” Yin Wen said: “If your Majesty were to obtain this man would you be willing to make him a minister?” The King replied: “That is my wish yet it is not possible to obtain [such a man]. that is all. First to teach someone and afterwards learn from him is inadmissible. Kong Chuan was a descendant of Confucius. saying: “When I lived in Lu.

’ To call him disgraceful is to condemn him. suffer humiliation and finally do not dare to contend. On one hand your Majesty considers him for office yet on the other hand does not. Moreover.” The King had no mean of reply. rewarding. dies. If a man has a fault then he condemns him. that whereby he was deemed to be a scholar is still so. deeming right and condemning.” The King replied: “In my administration of the kingdom I believe it is as you say [so] although the people are not in order. If these four. Would your Majesty subsequently consider him for office?” The King replied: “How is he a scholar? To suffer humiliation and not contend is disgraceful! If he were disgraced then I would not consider him for office. I dare not complain. if he does not have a fault then he also condemns him. is to keep intact the King’s command. That is a case of a man not having merit yet your Majesty rewarding him. The man is not right yet your Majesty recognises him as right and certainly considers him for office. as a consequence. Is it admissible for him to complain that the people are not in order?” The King of Qi replied: “It is inadmissible.” Yin Wen said: “In my humble view your subordinates. Yet your Majesty says: ‘One who suffers humiliation yet does not dare to contend is disgraceful. if he does not have merit then he also rewards him. did not dare to contend. To glorify one who dares to contend is to recognise him as right.’ That the people. Does that mean then that someone who was spoken of as a scholar is now not a scholar. in administering Qi. although [a ruler] were ten times [as worthy as] the Yellow Emperor he could not bring about order. your Majesty heaping disgrace on one who does not dare contend necessarily glorifies one who does dare contend. what your Majesty deems right. use this kind of method. finally. the officials punish with death. Certainly to consider him for office is to reward him. removes his name from the register and does not consider him for office. Yin Wen said: “Now suppose there were a prince who intended to bring order to his kingdom. who suffered an insult yet. fearing the King’s command. . As this man has not lost his four characteristics. Is it that I have not considered the matter?” Yin Wen said: “Would I dare say this without explanation? The King’s command states: ‘One who kills a man. Not to consider him for office is to punish him. one who wounds a man is punished. the law condemns. are confused with each other. The man is without fault yet your Majesty condemns him and. If a man has merit then he rewards him. he has not lost his four characteristics.” The King of Qi had no means of reply. This is a case of a man not transgressing yet your Majesty punishing him. What your Majesty rewards.294 ian johnston people. punishing.” Yin Wen said: “Although he was humiliated and did not contend.

Long takes your words to be like those of the King of Qi. You know to take issue with ‘a white horse is not a horse’ but not how to take issue with its explanation. This is like knowing the name ‘good scholar’ but not knowing how to identify the class.the GONGSUN LONGZI 295 “Therefore.” Chinese Glossary Baima Lun bei bieming Chen Guimiao Chen Jinkun Daqu Deng Xi Ding Chengquan Feng Yaoming gongming Gongsun Long[zi] Han Shu heng zhi Hu Quyuan Hui Shi Gongsun Longzi jian zhi Jianbai Lun Jifu ju kuang kuang ju ming Mingbian Xuelun Mingjia Mingjia yu Xunzi Mingshi Lun Mobian Fawei Mou Zongsan Mozi Mozi Jiaozhu niu pian Qian Mu ren zhi rong shi Tan Jiefu ti Tongbian Lun wei wu wu mo fei zhi Wu Feibai Wu Yujiang xianghu rongtong Xiaoqu Xingmingjia yi Yin Wen ying Yiwen Zhi zai zhi zhi Zhiwu Lun Zhongguo Gu Ming-Jia Yan Zhou Yunzhi Zhuangzi .