The Scale of Perfection, Book 2, Part 1 – Chapter 4

dohpeterchina's picture

That through the Sacrament of Baptism (which is grounded in the Passion of Christ) this Image is reformed from Original Sin

This is chapter 6 of The Scale of Perfection – Book 2 in Middle English:
That thorugh the sacrament of baptym that is groundid in the passioun of Crist this image is reformed fro the original synne.

jnwarren's picture

Meaning & Sense

Hi Lee,

Sorry for the long delay: I have been away some days and so I just now got your message.

I have a problem with "crying out to God" because 'God', as far as ordinary language is concerned, is an empty signifier (see here), devoid of meaning, so I could not very much cry out to him!

I will explain:

When I make any number of observational sentences, "The cup on the table is blue" for instance, there are certain consequences tied to that sentence, both syntactically and semantically, such that, we will find, the words comprising the sentence offer both a sense and a meaning(and I am using a specific sense of the word "meaning" here, you might refer to this post in reference).

As the sentence is grammatically correct, it has a sense, i.e., [S[(NP)]+[VP(VP+PP)]]. There is no problem there. Now, we additionally find that the words "cup", "table" and "blue" all refer to this cup, this table and this blue object and therefore possess some correlation to the reality which they describe (if they do indeed refer to some "this").

Now, if I were to say, on the other hand, "there is a monster living under my bed", the sentence, true, would have sense, being that it is again a grammatically well-formed sentence, that is, [PP+VP(VP+NP)]. But, whereas "this cup" and "this table" (or something else) refer(s) to something tangible in the world (some "this"), I cannot point to "the monster living under my bed"--therefore the sentence has no meaning.

[Note: In the same way, if I were to say "bababa" meaning "next time it rains, I am going swimming", there is no reason to suspect this is what you would understand of this: it is utter nonsense.]

Likewise, if I were to ask you what you "mean" by 'God', you would devise a certain set of observational sentences describing what you refer to when using the word. But, who is to say any of these sentences actually correspond (i.e., refer) to any real thing in the world or not?! Again, this seems like rather precarious ground to walk upon!

[we can talk more about this if you want]

" alterius non sit qui suus esse potest "