Problems of Language and Logic in Daoism

Eske J. Møllgaard, University of Rhode Island


The chapter considers the relation between language and logic in early Daoism. It explains the Daoist experience of language, which is closely related to the Daoist experience of the Way (dao). It is shown how Daoist logic differs from the Confucian logic of correctness and the Mohist logic of naming. Even if Daoist discourse does not follow these more familiar forms of logic, it does not negate the law of non-contradiction nor does it fall into the performative contradiction. Through readings of significant Daoist stories the Daoist logic beyond logic is brought to view.