Between Universal Consciousness and Cultural Patterns of Thought: Perspectives on Yu Yu’s Notion of Logic in the 1930s

Jan Vrhovski


This article aims at pinpointing the main characteristics of the notion of logic in the work of Yu Yu, a renowned propagator of Buddhist philosophy and Indian hetuvidyā in Republican China. In so doing, it focusses exclusively on Yu’s work in the late 1920s and 1930s, when Chinese discussions on Buddhism and logic were at their height. The study sets out from Yu Yu’s early investigations into the hetuvidyā, from whence it then gradually traces the development of a comprehensive notion of logic. In the main analysis, it aims at shedding some light on Yu’s later view on the relationship between Western and Chinese logic and his subsequent adoption of a special kind of language-conditioned “logical relativism”. Concurrently, the study also aims at presenting a few preliminary insights into how Yu’s notion of logic was influenced by contemporary reinterpretations of Buddhist epistemology on one side and contemporary Chinese discourse on logic and language on the other.

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Copyright (c) 2020 Jan Vrhovski