This collection of essays, by Reding, in the emergent field of Sino-Hellenic studies, explores the neglected inchoative strains of rational thought in ancient China and compares them to similar themes in ancient Greek thought, right at the beginnings of philosophy in both cultures. Reding develops and defends the bold hypothesis that Greek and Chinese rational thinking are one and the same phenomenon. Rather than stressing the extreme differences between these two cultures - as most other writings on these subjects - Reding looks for the parameters that have to be restored to see the similarities. Reding maintains that philosophy is like an unknown continent discovered simultaneously in both China and Greece, but from different starting-points. The book comprises seven essays moving thematically from conceptual analysis, logic and categories to epistemology and ontology, with an incursion in the field of comparative metaphorology. One of the book's main concerns is a systematic examination of the problem of linguistic relativism through many detailed examples.
Contents: Introduction; 'Contradiction is impossible'; The origin of logic in China; Philosophy and geometry in early China; Greek and Chinese categories; Words for atoms - atoms for words: comparative considerations on the origins of atomism in ancient Greece and on the absence of atomism in ancient China; Light and the mirror in Greece and China: elements of comparative metaphorology; 'To be' in Greece and China; Chinese characters and texts; Bibliography; Index.