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A study of cognitive linguistic structure based on the Four Conditions of the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā


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Doctor of Philosophy in Religious Studies


Guruge, Ananda W. P.
Lancaster, Lewis R.
Ju, Charles J.


The main purpose of this study is to depict Nāgārjuna's implication on how he redefined the Four Conditions (catvārah pratyayā ) as the cognitive linguistic structure by allocating 32 functional metadata throughout the texts of Mūlamadhyamakakārikā (MMK). Following subtle traces of lokasamvrtisatya (the conventional truth) in the text of MMK, the integrated framework of a cognitive linguistic structure can be detected. Nāgārjuna did not negate nor degrade the conventional truth in the context of MMK. The Four Conditions conceal their cognitive variations underneath language, yet they can be consolidated as a structure of knowledge that has capacity of preservability, in a sense of linear consistency of unchanging combinational conditions, as well as recognizability, in a sense of circular transition of changing between two combinational conditions. Such an algorithm of cognition as well as communication are possible because one is able to detect the conditional changes when the stream of cognitive process evolves from one cognitive entity to another with a paradigm of pratītyasamutpāda that is described as "imasmim sati idam hoti (Because this exists that exists.)" of the Early Buddhism. The Four Conditions and their relevant 32 metadata are the foundational platform that Nāgārjuna developed in MMK which mutually interlock and capture the cognitive stream in the structure of language.


Algorithm of cognition
Philosophy of religion
Cognitive linguistic structure
Four Conditions (catvāraḥ pratyayā)
Madhyamaka philosophy

Degree Granter

University of the West



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