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Mingli tan 名理探. [Jap-Sin II, 1]
AuthorFurtado, Francisco 傅汎際, 1589-1653
Li Zhizao 李之藻, 1565-1630
Pub. Location---Publisher---
Daten.d.Phys. Desc.10 juan.
JapSin II, 1
Mingli tan 名理探.
Narrated by Fu Fanji 傅汎際 (Francisco Furtado) and recorded by Li Zhizao 李之藻.
Ten juan (juan 1 is missing), bound in red leather with gold designs. Juan 3 and 4 are inverted; folio 80 is upside down and by mistake placed before folio 79. No date or place of publication.
The cover bears a label with the title.
The title page is missing. The recto of folio 1 of juan 2 bears the title of the book and at the side it gives: “wu gongcheng 五公稱, first volume” (but actually in the middle of each folio the number of the juan is 2). It then goes on to give the name of the narrator (遠西耶穌會士傅汎際譯義) and the name of the recorder (西湖存園寄叟李之藻達辭).
There are nine columns in each half folio and nineteen characters in each column. Annotations are given in small type and in double lines. The title of the book and the title of each chapter are given in the middle of each folio, and the number of the juan and of the folio are given below the fish tail.

As far as we know, Li Zhizao did not write a preface for this book, though he wrote one for another book, the Huanyouquan 寰有詮, which he published also with the help of Furtado. There is, however, a preface written by his son, Li Cibin 李次𢒹 [bin={U+224B9} similar to 虨] dated Chongzhen 12 (1639), and another by Li Tianjing 李天經, dated Chongzhen 9 (1636).
According to the preface of Li Cibin, his father, when he stayed in Hangzhou, invited Furtado to translate the Commentarii Collegii Coimbricensis Societatis Iesu in quatuor libros de coelo Aristotelis Stagiritae, to which he later gave the Chinese title Huanyouquan. The translation was started in 1623 and after a revision was completed in 1625. Two years later, in 1627, they took up again the work of translation and turned to another of the textbooks, published by the University of Coimbra, a commentary on the Book of Logic by Aristotle. This book, which still exists in the Beitang Library in Beijing (Verhaeren, no. 1365) has the title: Commentarii Collegii Coimbricensis & Societate Iesu: In universam Dialecticam Aristotelis Stagiritae. It was first published in Cologne (Germany) in 1611. To the translation of this book Li Zhizao gave the title Mingli tan. In 1629, Li Zhizao was summoned to Beijing to help in the reform of the Calendar. By then the translation of the Mingli tan had been completed and consisted of thirty juan, according to the preface of Li Cibin. We are told that the translation was by no means an easy task, especially because Li Zhizao was determined to make the work perfect: “he nearly bit off the hair of the brush trying to find the right word, and often a long period was spent when a phrase required careful wording.”

The Mingli tan was never published in its entirety. Only ten juan saw the light of day and even these were published at two different times: the first five juan were published about the year 1636 and the second five juan between 1637 and 1641 (cf. Courant 3413: “名理探,五卷, Traité de logique,” and 3414: “名理探十論,五卷, Les dix catégories de la logique.”) The manuscript copy of the Mingli tan kept in Zikawei also consists of the first five juan. The manuscript copy in ten volumes, kept in the Beitang Library in Beijing (no. 1064), consists of the first five and the second five juan. There is a Ming edition of the Mingli tan in ten juan in the Zikawei Library. This edition has nine columns in each half folio with nineteen characters in each column, in which it corresponds to the edition kept in the Roman Jesuit Archive.

The Mingli tan has been reprinted several times: 1. The Catholic University of Peking published in 1926 a photographic edition in three volumes, under the care of Chen Yuan 陳垣. It was based on the manuscript in five juan kept in the Zikawei Library. At the end of the book there is a postscript and a biography of Li Zhizao by Chen Yuan. 2. In the spring of 1931 the Guangqishe 光啟社 of Zikawei published the five juan edition with an introduction by Xu Zongze 徐宗澤. 3. The Commercial Press in Shanghai published the Mingli tan in ten juan: the first five juan based on the manuscript copy in the Zikawei Library and the second half based on the printed edition possessed by the Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris). At the end of this edition (Wanyou wenku, second series 萬有文庫二編) there is a postscript by Xu Zongze together with two prefaces taken from the manuscript copy in the Beitang Library. 4. The Commercial Press in Taipei reprinted the Mingli tan edition (no. 3) in 1965 as part of the Hanyi shijie mingzhu 漢譯世界名著 (Collection of Chinese Translations of Famous World Classics).

Cf. Fang Hao 1966; Hsü 1949, pp. 193–197; RBS, no. 17 (Shanghai, T’ou se we, 25 Juillet, 1928).
Source: Albert Chan, S.J., Chinese Books and Documents in the Jesuit Archives in Rome, pp. 283-284.

Full citation see: Ad Dudink & Nicolas Standaert, Chinese Christian Texts Database (CCT-Database).

Rec. TypeBookLanguageChinese 中文
CollectionARSIRec. #14600