PP-2019-23: Sun Tzu and the Rules of Victorious Warriors; Analysing the rules of Sun Tzu using Mind maps

PP-2019-23: van Emde Boas-Lubsen, Ghica and Zhao, Bonan and van Emde Boas, Peter (2019) Sun Tzu and the Rules of Victorious Warriors; Analysing the rules of Sun Tzu using Mind maps. [Pre-print]

[thumbnail of mindmapspaperversion20190703.pdf]

Download (4MB) | Preview


In this paper we examine an ancient Chinese work on strategy
and warfare: Sun Tzu, “The Art of War”, from the perspectives of
logic, mathematics, and computer science. Making use of contempo-
rary mind mapping methods, we show how logic can be extracted from
this 2500 year old text.
A hierarchical decomposition of the text, as constructed using mind
maps, allows us to highlight patterns and structures in the text.

will look at:

Pairs of Opposites. A pair of opposites is not an enumeration with
two elements. It is used to explain how seemingly opposite or contrary
forces may actually be complementary, for example: direct and indirect
(chapter 5), empty and solid (chapter 6).

Enumerations, to clarify reasoning, such as: Thus we may know
that there are five essentials for victory (chapter 1). In addition to
explicit enumerations, there is mention of numbered things, such as
five colors (chapter 5), without saying what they are.

Conditionals, such as: If victory is long in coming, then men’s
weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be damped (chapter 2).

Preference order, as illustrated by the following detail (chapter 3):
• It is better to take a country intact, than to destroy a country;
• It is better to capture an army intact, than to destroy an army;
• ...
1• It is better to capture a squad, than to kill a squad;

Implications (故 gu, therefore), with a discussion about its difference in meaning between ancient and modern Chinese.

Our work is based on the translation of Lionel Giles, made in 1910,
and on comparisons with the original Chinese text. We found that
mind maps enable us to bring back some of the rhythm and visual
structure of this book which are obscured in many translations, because
the translators tried to produce a readable narrative.

Item Type: Pre-print
Report Nr: PP-2019-23
Series Name: Prepublication (PP) Series
Year: 2019
Subjects: Cognition
Depositing User: Peter Emde Boas
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2019 12:34
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2019 12:34
URI: https://eprints.illc.uva.nl/id/eprint/1706

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item