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A Primer Of Semantics

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OGDEN AND RICHARDS                          75
(3) Another arrangement is called the causal16 linkage. This reference looks to the future, and is, probably, the most important of the three.
Say, for instance, that I see my friend John about to dive into what looks like shallow water. I say If John dives into that shallow water, he will be hurt. Why do I say this? My past experience has set up this psychological linkage: Shallow water, diving, disaster! To put this into the Ian* guage of Ogden and Richards, "shallow water" is a sign to me of the whole psychological linkage: Shallow water, diving, disaster! So I say If John dives into that shallow water, he will be hurt Is this a true reference? Is this a logical reference?
Ogden and Richards say this:
My statement If John dives into that shallow water, he will be hurt is true and logical if, when John dives, he is, indeed, hurt. In such a case, the physical context will match the psychological context. The causal linkage in the actual situation will then match the causal linkage in my verbal statementin my reference. The dive into shallow water will have caused the tragedyas expected. If the dive into the water does not hurt John, there is no referent. I was, as Ogden and Richards put it, mistakenI was in error in my interpretation of the sign. Perhaps the water was not so shallow as I thought. Perhaps John was a better diver than I thought In any case, the actual causal linkage in the physical context did not materialize. There was, in other words, no referent. The statement was, therefore, neither true nor logical.
16 No immutability is implied by this term. It is used as a convenient way to describe a probable causal connection.