It is widely known that Indian thought has a fundamental interest in language. Recently, J. Bronkhorst published a series of studies that drew our attention to the relationship between language and objects in Indian thought. In Language and Reality (2011), in particular, he designates this principle as “Correspondence Principle”, and argues that it lay at the root of the thoughts of various schools of the Indian schools for over half a millennium after Nāgārjuna (ca 150-250).
This paper aims to understand whether it is possible to apply his correspondence principle to Buddhist ideas, especially to the Three-Nature (svabhāvatraya) theories of Indian Yogācāra-Vijñānavāda school, and to understand it from the perspective of the so-called “Linguistic turn” in Indian Buddhism. To this purpose, I try to distinguish the Three-Nature theory into two flows. One is an explanation from the perspective of the Noesis-Noema (grāhaka-grāhya) corelation, to use the terminology of Phenomenology, and the other is to apply the perspective of the expression-the expressed (abhilāpa- abhilāpya) relation to the fictive nature (parikalpitasvabhāva). For me, the latter flow could be rightly understood as a linguistic turn in Indian thought.