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Buddhism, Kant

August 17th, 2014 · No Comments

From scientia salon (which does use permalinks)

This amounts to a sort of catuskoti+, characterized by the four initial possibilities plus a fifth case standing for ineffability. Bear with me for a few more minutes, there’s going to be a pay off.

So far, W-philosophers would have two sources of trouble: the catuskoti is bad enough, because it violates both non-contradiction and excluded middle; but now Buddhists are talking about ineffable things, too! The thing about the ineffable is that it is defined as something of which one cannot talk, it is by definition beyond words. And yet, Nagarjuna and his followers gingerly go on telling us things about the alleged ineffable! In particular, in Graham’s rendition, they tell us why some things are ineffable, even though they cannot comment on the things-in-themselves.

Okay, if you are even superficially familiar with Western philosophy, you might have recognized parallels — which Graham duly notes, of course — with Kant, or even Heidegger. Kant makes a distinction between the phenomenal world, to which we have access through our senses and reason, and the noumenal one, which is in a sense ineffable, but about which we can tell why it is so. Heidegger, much more bizarrely and certainly more obscurely, wrote a big book about Being and then told everyone that you can’t really say anything about Being.

I haven’t had time to properly study this post, but I think that ‘philosophizing’ is not philosophy and philosophy is not meditation.
Kant and Plato echo a deep intuition into the distinction of phenomenal and noumenal, in Schopenhauer, representation and thing-in-itself.
I read this essay and become confused: the issues don’t really dwell in philosophy. In fact we are stuck in the phenomenal and tend to misinterpret these issues.

Beware of post-Kantian efforts to debunk Kant in the name of science.
More later…

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