Buddhist thought as a psychosemantics: the nāmarūpa concept and cognitive psychology


Within scholars that accept a psychological theory of Buddhism, there are who have longtime recognized the central role of language, or rather of semantic perception. Thanks to the work of scholars such as Siderits, Garfield, Hamilton and Tzohar, the awareness that the Buddhist thought system is based on an analysis of semantic cognition has increased over the past few years. Since a rigorous comparison between the refined descriptive lexicon of the cognitive system proposed by Buddhist thought and the ideas of Ferdinand De Saussure has never been proposed, the aim of this article is the demonstration that there is a perfect correspondence between some concepts of Buddhist thought and Saussurian structural linguistics. It will be shown correspondence between nāmarūpa as 'linguistic sign', and sañña as 'semantic cognition'.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i17201632vXXIVn43-44p17

Keywords: linguistics; cognition; semantics; buddhism; language; madhyamaka

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