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The Ideogram Versus The Phonogram In The Past, Present And Future

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Chapter Summary

Historically, the Eastern tradition has been heavily influenced by Buddhism, which started in India, and in the East debating has been practised only in the context of the Buddhist tradition. The most favourable situation to perpetuate paper-making technology existed in the Chinese bureaucracy, dating from the Han period. This situation was further strengthened during the Tang and also the Sung periods by the written examination for the civil service. The debating tradition of the West hardly needed paper for records. Papyrus was too fragile to preserve historical records and parchment in the medieval West was too costly to be used for printing. The most basic paradigm of all Western academic tradition was the Aristotelian trivium that was introduced to seventeenth-century China by the Jesuits. Parallel to the development of written language translation, an attempt was made to translate spoken language.

Keywords: Aristotelian trivium; Buddhist tradition; Jesuits; paper-making technology; Sung period



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