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Title : Dependent Origination: Toward a Theory of Meaning
Type : Master Degree Thesis
File Size : 2.67 MB
Date Submitted :
Author : Mr. Hel Rithy


The study explores the scientific nature of Buddhist onto-epistemology that dominate almost all Buddhist theories and practices. With special regard to theory of meaning, it demonstrates how a Buddhist theory of meaning, owing much to Buddhist onto-epistemology, can be incorporated with western approaches for textual analysis.

A number of research methods were used, including comparative approaches, direct analogy, symbolic interactionsim and structural semiotic analysis.

The outcomes of the study show parallels between Buddhist approaches to reality with Einstein’s approach. Buddhist onto-epistemology is qualified to be synthesised with western ontology in order to develop a generative approach to reality, which may thereby suggest modifications to various western methodologies for improved research in contemporary sciences, in particular, social sciences.

The results also demonstrate that there are parallels between the Buddhist theory of meaning and theories of structuralism and symbolic interactionism in social psychology. Although the Buddha emphasises the inseparable coincidence between our inner capacity for language and symbolization, and our social interactions, both social psychology and Buddhism use ‘desire’ as an orienting system of semiosis, and behaviour systems. This makes a good basis on which to try and integrate these approaches.

Source: Buddhist Institute of Cambodia