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Parallelism in the Early Moist Texts

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Parallelism is present everywhere in the early Moist texts: at the syntactic level, at the semantic level, between sentences, between sets of sentences, between argumentative structures. The present article gives many examples of the phenomenon: parallelism of insistence, insistence from top to bottom, insistence from bottom to top, parallelism with symmetry, parallelism involving negation, subcontraries and negation at deeper levels, parallelism of the argumentative structures. Logic is particularly applied to the study of parallelism involving negation. From the point of view of argumentation, it is shown that many of those constructions have an important role in supporting arguments such as: arguments of generalization, a fortiori arguments, arguments of exemplarity, consequentialist arguments, arguments by comparison. This study draws the attention to the importance of argumentation in the study of Moism and gives a new light on the argument by parallelism (mou 侔) in the “Xiaoqu”: It is a natural extension of what we call “parallelism involving negation,” already very common in the early Moist texts.


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