Friday, March 13, 2020

Hofmann, Kurtz & Levine, eds., "Powerful Arguments"

New from Brill: Powerful Arguments: Standards of Validity in Late Imperial China (March 2020), edited by Martin Hofmann (Heidelberg University), Joachim Kurtz (Heidelberg University), and Ari Daniel Levine (University of Georgia). A description from the Press:
The essays in Powerful Arguments reconstruct the standards of validity underlying argumentative practices in a wide array of late imperial Chinese discourses, from the Song through the Qing dynasties. The fourteen case studies analyze concrete arguments defended or contested in areas ranging from historiography, philosophy, law, and religion to natural studies, literature, and the civil examination system. By examining uses of evidence, habits of inference, and the criteria by which some arguments were judged to be more persuasive than others, the contributions recreate distinct cultures of reasoning. Together, they lay the foundations for a history of argumentative practice in one of the richest scholarly traditions outside of Europe and add a chapter to the as yet elusive global history of rationality.
More information, including the table of contents, is available here. One chapter that might particularly interest readers is "Some Problems with Corpses: Standards of Validity in Qing Homicide Cases" by Matthew H. Sommer (Stanford University).

-- Karen Tani

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