Dao
, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 137-149

Could the Aristotelian square of opposition be translated into Chinese?

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Conclusion

To translate the Aristotelian square of opposition into Chinese requires restructuring the Aristotelian system of genus-species into the Chinese way of classification and understanding of the focus-field relationship. The feature of the former is on a “tree” model, while that of the later is on the focusfield model. Difficulties arise when one tries to show contraries betweenA- type and E-type propositions in the Aristotelian square of opposition in Chinese, because there is no clear distinction between universal and particular in a focus-field structure of thinking. If there could be a chance to discuss the analytic identity between the two logical systems, then it might be only constituted during a face to face conversation in the present, or, in other words, in the translation of particular propositions (singular subjective,I-type, andO-type propositions) in a particular case. The best hope for a translator is that in the actual temporally situated practice,now he or she might find a temporary way to map the concepts of one to the other with relatively little loss of structure.