BI Appendix 2

BUDDHIST ILLOGIC Appendix 2: Brief glossary of some basic concepts Chögyam Trungpa (1940-1987), a modern philosopher of Tibetan Buddhism, popular in the West, wrote that Nagarjuna “much preferred to approach truth by taking the arguments of other philosophical schools on their own terms and logically reducing them ad absurdum, rather than himself offering any definitions [...]

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BI Appendix 1

BUDDHIST ILLOGIC Appendix 1: Fallacies in Nagarjuna’s Work To summarize the findings of the present research: the following are the main fallacies that I have found Nagarjuna committing in his philosophical treatment of “emptiness”. A. Fallacy of the Tetralemma. This consists in treating the combinations “both A and non-A” (contradiction) and “neither A nor non-A” [...]

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BI Afterword

BUDDHIST ILLOGIC Not ‘empty logic’, but empty of logic. I shall stop here, save for some concluding remarks, though a lot more could be said. As we have seen, Nagarjuna is motivated by very good intentions: he wishes to help us achieve enlightenment or liberation, by freeing us from all obstacles to cognition of the [...]

BI Afterword2023-01-04T12:08:29+02:00

12 Self-Knowledge

BUDDHIST ILLOGIC12.Self-knowledge.Let us therefore consider how we might argue in favor of a soul, consisting of a Subject and his consciousness and an Agent and his will. If I do not mention feelings much here, it is only because I consider them derivatives of the other two powers of the soul; but the soul as [...]

12 Self-Knowledge2023-01-05T09:21:55+02:00

11 Self or Soul

BUDDHIST ILLOGIC11.Self or soul.Nagarjuna, together with other Buddhists, denies the existence of a real “self” in man[1], i.e. that the “I” of each person is a soul or spiritual entity distinct from his physical body. This concept, referred to as the “atman”, was regarded in Indian (Hindu) tradition as “the feeler of sensations, thinker of [...]

11 Self or Soul2023-01-05T09:23:52+02:00

10 God & Creation

BUDDHIST ILLOGIC10.God and creation.Nagarjuna sought to show[1]that it is “unintelligible to assert the existence of God as the creator or maker of the universe”[2]. He does this by means of several arguments, which I shall try to summarize, based on Cheng’s account, and to evaluate. Let me say at the outset that I personally do [...]

10 God & Creation2013-11-24T13:29:56+02:00

9 Karmic Law

BUDDHIST ILLOGIC9.Karmic law.Finally, let us consider Nagarjuna’s comments on the moral principle of ‘karma’ (as we commonly call it).He denies karmic law – for him, “necessary connections between good deeds and rewards, and bad deeds and punishments” are, as Cheng describes[1], “not objective laws in nature and society, but subjective projections of the mind”.This is [...]

9 Karmic Law2023-01-05T09:26:47+02:00

8 Co-Dependence

BUDDHIST ILLOGIC8.Co-dependence.·One further argument mentioned by Cheng[1]goes like this: Nagarjuna questions the legitimacy of an “ontological interpretation of causation” that claims “an entity which has essential nature” can be “something which is caused”. In his view such claim is contradictory, for “an entity is supposed to have essential nature and a thing of essential nature [...]

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7 Causality

BUDDHIST ILLOGIC7.Causality.Causality is a central concept in Buddhism. In Western philosophy, the term is applied generically to causation (a relation of “constant conjunction” between any two events[1]– physical events, and likewise “psychological” events) and to volition (the relation between a conscious being and an action willed by it). For Indian and Buddhist philosophy, an additional [...]

7 Causality2023-01-05T09:31:06+02:00

6 Motion & Rest

BUDDHIST ILLOGIC6.Motion and rest.Nagarjuna denies the knowability and possibility of motion and likewise of rest, and purports to refute them by various arguments[1], thus (by negation) proving the truth of the “emptiness” doctrine. He does this by means of outwardly logical argument forms, like (two- or three-pronged) dilemmas or showing some propositions to be self-contradictory [...]

6 Motion & Rest2023-01-05T09:32:37+02:00
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