Zhuangzi glossary

 

debate

debates

biàn, "debate" is a commonly used term that received a special meaning in the logic of the later Mohists. In order for a debate to proceed properly, all terms and the subject under dispute must be defined, typically in the form of whether X is or is not an A. In order for this to work, A must be exhaustively defined such that each thing is either A or not-A. 

biàn can refer to the distinction which exhaustively divides the world into two categories. It can refer to the act of drawing the distinction. It can refer to the subsequent debate, and it can refer to the debaters.