Imagination, Perception, and Language

Bimal Krishna Matilal

in Perception

Published in print December 1991 | ISBN: 9780198239765
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680014 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Imagination, Perception, and Language

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The parable of the magician and the tiger's bone has been used in the Buddhist canons to show how proliferations of conceptual and linguistic snares capture man, who in fact is himself the creator of this labyrinth of concepts in the first place. Man objectifies the concepts only to be entangled by them. Language distorts reality by proliferating false concepts and images. This is a well-known pan-Buddhist theme, and it is often woven around such notions as prapānca, vikalpa, and kalpanā. The chapter first explains these notions, and leads to deeper problems of perception, language, and meaning. It considers perception, verbal proliferation, imagination, prelinguistic perception, immediate and mediate perception, construction, and conception-free awareness.

Keywords: verbal proliferation; prelinguistic perception; construction; awareness; mediate perception

Chapter.  19379 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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