What relation must one fact have to another
in order to be capable of being a symbol for that other?
Bertrand Russell

A paragraph is about something. It’s actually a minor wonder that we have this ability to make a fact that can so matter-of-factly be about another fact. The trick, of course, is to have something “in mind” when we write. A drawing can represent a person or thing by “looking like” it. On a good day, I can draw a picture of my face that people who know me would recognize. I can also write a paragraph about my face — the blue eyes behind the glasses, the beard, the bald head — that stands in the same relation to my face that the drawing would. That relation is “aboutness”. Importantly, the drawing or the writing can be wrong about the thing it represents. To be about something is to be comparable to it. We can set my face against a depiction of it, or a description of it, and we can, on that basis, judge the representation. This paragraph can be wrong about paragraphs, for example. And now we can discuss it.

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