Unity of the Material and Immaterial

If you are going to use the English sentence “Snow is white,” you are typically going to have to express it via some material medium — ink marks, pixels, sound waves, or what have you. All the same, the meaning of that sentence cannot be accounted for in terms of any of the physical properties of those media. There is nothing in the shapes of the letters that make up the words of the sentence, or the chemistry of the ink in which they are written, or the physics of the compression waves in the air that you generate when uttering them, that makes them refer to snow or to whiteness or indeed to anything at all. A sentence is a seamless unity of the material and the immaterial, and it is created by another seamless unity of the material and immaterial — a human being.

Edward Feser, Rediscovering Human Beings, Part 1.

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