School of Names

School of Names

The Logicians or School of Names (名家; Míng jiā; ming = "names"; also sometimes called Hsing Ming Chia, the school of forms and names[1]) was a Chinese philosophical school that grew out of Mohism in the Warring States Period 479–221 BCE.

Their philosophy is often kin to sophists or dialecticians. Needham 1956 notes that their works have been lost, except for the partially preserved Kungsun Lung Tzu, and except for the paradoxes of Chapter 33 of Chuang Tzu (Zhuangzi). Needham notes that the disappearance of the greater part of Kungsun Lung Tzu (Gongsun Longzi) must be considered one of the worst losses in the ancient Chinese books, as what remains is said to reach the highest point of ancient Chinese philosophical writing.[1]

Notable Logicians include:[2]


  1. ^ a b Needham 1956 p. 185
  2. ^ School of Names, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy,, retrieved 2011-04-02 

See also


  • Fraser, Chris. "School of Names." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Graham, A.C., Disputers of the Tao: Philosophical Argument in Ancient China (Open Court 1993). ISBN 0-8126-9087-7
  • Needham, Joseph (1956), Science and Civilisation in China, 2 History of Scientific Thought, pp. 697, ISBN 0 521 05800 7 

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