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Last edited by Avi Sion
October 12, 2010 | History

Buddhist Illogic: A Critical Analysis of Nagarjuna’s Arguments 1 edition

Cover of: Buddhist Illogic by Avi Sion

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About the Book

The 2nd Century CE Indian philosopher Nagarjuna founded the Madhyamika (Middle Way) school of Mahayana Buddhism, which strongly influenced Chinese, Korean and Japanese Buddhism, as well as Tibetan Buddhism. His writings include a series of arguments purporting to show the illogic of logic, the absurdity of reason. He considers this the way to verbalize and justify the Buddhist doctrine of “emptiness” (Shunyata). The present essay demonstrates the many sophistries involved in Nagarjuna’s arguments.

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The 2nd Century CE Indian philosopher Nagarjuna founded the Madhyamika (Middle Way) school of Mahayana Buddhism, which strongly influenced Chinese (Ch’an), Korean (Sôn) and Japanese (Zen) Buddhism, as well as Tibetan Buddhism. Nagarjuna is regarded by many Buddhist writers to this day as a very important philosopher, who they claim definitively proved the futility of ordinary human cognitive means.

His writings include a series of arguments purporting to show the illogic of logic, the absurdity of reason. He considers this the way to verbalize and justify the Buddhist doctrine of “emptiness” (Shunyata). These arguments attack some of the basic tenets and techniques of reasoning, such as the laws of thought (identity, non-contradiction and the excluded middle), conceptualization and predication, our common assumptions of self, entities and essences, as well as our beliefs in motion and causation.

The present essay demonstrates the many sophistries involved in Nagarjuna’s arguments. He uses double standards, applying or ignoring the laws of thought and other norms as convenient to his goals; he manipulates his readers, by giving seemingly logical form (like the dilemma) to his discourse, while in fact engaged in non-sequiturs or appealing to doubtful premises; he plays with words, relying on unclear terminology, misleading equivocations and unfair fixations of meaning; and he ‘steals concepts’, using them to deny the very percepts on which they are based.

Although a critique of the Madhyamika philosophical interpretation and defense of “emptiness”, Buddhist Illogic is not intended to dissuade readers from Buddhism. On the contrary, its aim to enhance personal awareness of actual cognitive processes, and so improve meditation. It is also an excellent primer on phenomenological epistemology.
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Buddhist Illogic
A Critical Analysis of Nagarjuna’s Arguments

Published 2002 by Author through Lulu.com in Geneva, Switzerland .
Written in English.

Table of Contents

FOREWORD 7
1. THE TETRALEMMA 13
2. NEITHER REAL NOR UNREAL 21
3. NAGARJUNA’S USE OF DILEMMA 33
4. THE SUBJECT-PREDICATE RELATION 37
5. PERCEPTS AND CONCEPTS 47
6. MOTION AND REST 73
7. CAUSALITY 99
8. CO-DEPENDENCE 123
9. KARMIC LAW 141
10. GOD AND CREATION 147
11. SELF OR SOUL 169
12. SELF-KNOWLEDGE 185
AFTERWORD:
NOT ‘EMPTY LOGIC’, BUT EMPTY OF LOGIC 197
APPENDIXES:
1. FALLACIES IN NAGARJUNA’S WORK 206
2. BRIEF GLOSSARY OF SOME BASIC CONCEPTS 209

The Physical Object

Format
Paperback
Number of pages
216
Dimensions
8.3 x 5.8 x inches

ID Numbers

Open Library
OL24376084M
ISBN 13
978-2-9700091-4-6

History Created October 12, 2010 · 5 revisions
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October 12, 2010 Edited by Avi Sion added link to bookstore selling this book
October 12, 2010 Edited by Avi Sion Added new cover
October 12, 2010 Edited by Avi Sion Edited without comment.
October 12, 2010 Edited by Avi Sion Edited without comment.
October 12, 2010 Created by Avi Sion Added new book.