The Platonic Triad and Its Chinese Counterpart Abstract:

  • Ersu Ding
Keywords: The semiotic triangle, Plato, Chinese semiotics, Semiotic realism


“The Platonic Triad and Its Chinese Counterpart” reviews two parallel traditions of semiotic realism represented by Plato and Husserl in the West and Mo Zi and Ouyang Jian in China respectively. These traditions were largely independent of each other before the 20th century, but they share two fundamental assumptions with regard to meaning. First, there exists an extrasemiotic world with its own qualities and attributes. Second, human consciousness is capable of knowing and then representing the external world with the help of language. Although there have arisen some different theories on this issue over the centuries, few of them seem to have systematically challenged Mo Zi and Plato’s presupposition of an ontological reality which gives rise to meaning, hence the historical dominance of the realist theory.

How to Cite
Ding, E. (2009). The Platonic Triad and Its Chinese Counterpart Abstract:. Signs - International Journal of Semiotics, 3, 41-56. Retrieved from