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In the years following Bertrand Russell's visit in China, fragments from his work on mathematical logic and the foundations of mathematics started to enter the Chinese intellectual world. While up until 1925 Chinese intellectuals like Zhang Shenfu, Zhang Dongsun and others mainly contributed to the dissemination of general notions from Russell's logicism, epistemology and mathematical philosophy, two aspiring Chinese mathematicians, Fu Zhongsun and Zhang Bangming, introduced to Chinese readers the first Chinese translation of Russell's Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy. One year after the second edition of the book was published in 1924, Chinese intellectuals started to respond to Russell's ‘mathematical logic’ and philosophy of mathematics, as contained in the work. Consequently, in 1925 the first public debate on this topic broke out in Chinese periodicals. This article aims at providing a summary of these 1925 discussions, from criticisms of Russell's work to a general debate on ‘infinitesimals’. Through close examination of the arguments and discursive strategies used in the debate, the article tries to highlight the state of Chinese discourse on mathematical logic during the time in question, while also shedding some light on the mechanisms and strategies in the undergoing process of the adoption of Western scientific ideas.

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