Nanhua University, Chiayi, Taiwan Associate Professor, Graduate Institute of Religious Studies, Nanhua University. Specialties: Mādhyamika philosophy, Buddhist epistemology, Buddhist philosophy of language. E-mail: email@example.com
Jizang sets forth a hermeneutical theory of “one name, infinite meanings” that proposes four types of interpretation of word meaning to the effect that a nominal word X means X, non-X, the negation of X, and all things whatsoever. In this article, I offer an analysis of the theory, with a view to elucidating Jizang's thought on meaning and reference and considering its contemporary significance. The theory, I argue, may best be viewed as an expedient means for telling us how to use words provisionally without any definite understanding of their referents.