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The Correspondence Principle

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Chapter Summary

According to the Buddhist scholastics, objects do not exist in reality, but owe their existence to language, to the words by which they are designated. On this view, the phenomenal world is determined, even created, by words. Note that this position postulates a connection between the objects of the phenomenal world and individual words. But words are not normally used in isolation; they appear in sentences. What, then, is the connection between the phenomenal world and sentences? This chapter examines the sentence "Devadatta writes a book". Following the same logic, the three principal words of the sentence should correspond to three elements, which together constitute the situation described by the sentence. What are these three elements? Devadatta, a book, and the act of writing.

Keywords: act of writing; Buddhist scholastics; Devadatta



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