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Is Buddhism based on a logical contradiction?

  • Aug 19, 2013 · 7:00 PM
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Two of the central notions of Buddhist philosophy are the denial of the existence of the self and the idea of Nirvana as the outcome of Enlightenment. A recent article by Katie Javanaud in Philosophy Now (download it here) raises the possibility that these two doctrines are actually mutually contradictory. More broadly: should we even evaluate Buddhism using reasoned arguments and logic? If not, does it actually count as a philosophy (rather than, say, a form of mysticism)?

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  • Berto

    The discussion we had at the end on the ontological status of the self was awesome!!!

    2 · August 20, 2013

  • Mike E.

    any spots opening up?

    August 8, 2013

  • Paul O

    Buddha seems to have discovered that if he can disengage thinking for prolonged periods of time, something exceptionally pleasant and semipermanent happens personally, some state gets entered into. In today’s terms, it seems to be something either medical or psychological. Because of the fields of study in Buddha’s time, and because of what was known & unknown then, it was viewed as a religious or mystical occurrence. Today it’s called “mindful meditation” – and has been found (via MRI) to actually alter the brain. It seems to have been just a practical discovery, but a much bigger deal was and still is made of it. How or why did it become a religious or mystical issue? Maybe because there was no field of psychology at the time. Maybe there was no “science,” ie, no formal investigative discipline or profession.

    July 19, 2013

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