Friday, September 12, 2014

Buddhist logic

In this post I discussed Graham Priest's article on Buddhist logic, which argues around Aristotle's excluded middle. The latter is prerequisite to the claim of performative contradiction, whereas Priest's Buddhist logic doesn't accept that premise. Priest's logic is what he calls paraconsistent, and I of course twist and fold it even further to show how their is an ultimate truth, but not in the metaphysical sense.

PS: accepting the excluded middle is a hallmark of formal operations with its bivalent either/or, and in that sense is 'metaphysical.' Postformal dialectics of the kind Priest discusses goes 'postmetaphysical' in that sense, while still making metaphysical (ontological) claims as to the nature of reality. I've also weaved this into Lakoff's work on embodied realism in various threads (especially real/false reason), another story, but 'on topic' to this thread.

You'll have to read the linked Priest article on Buddhist logic. It's only a contradiction to formal logic that accepts the excluded middle. Recall in Wilber's intro to the fourth turning the 4-fold Buddhist logic: something is, is not, is both, is neither. And used it to justify nonconceptual direct experience as the answer. Priest does a far better job on explaining this. Interestingly, and more than just a pun, it's no accident that Madhyamaka is called the 'middle' way.* It's between conceptual and nonconceptual, absolute and relative etc. in how it mediates these same/differences. Like Desilet and Derrida, not coincidentally.

Or that Lakoff's image schema are in the 'middle' of classical hierarchies, thereby changing the naive set theory and false reason upon which mathematical models of hierarchical complexity are founded. The latter have the same metaphysical notions of you're either in or out of a category, hence the hierarchy has a lowest concrete particular and a highest generalization that are bivalent and disconnected (or 'transcended and included'). Image schema are the middle foundation for both, another form of embodied middle way not caught in formal performative contradictions. Lakoff & Johnson do an excellent job in Philosophy of the Flesh on how this (formal) false reasoning was the foundation for much of western philosophy and metaphysics. (Eastern too, but they didn't address that.) It's so ingrained in us from the start that we cannot even see it.

*The Prasangika Madhyamaka is broadly defined by two camps: Tsongkhapa and Gorampa. See The Two Truths Debate by Thakchoe in the Batchelor thread. This debate is pivotal to the connection between metaphysical (false) and postmetaphysical (real) reasoning.

Balder linked to this interesting article. I commented:

Kakol handles well Hartshorne's criticism of Nagarjuna, but it's the same criticism of which I accuse the Lingam in another thread: “The truth about relations transcends discursive thought and can only be possessed by those whose meditation or intuition carries them beyond the rationally statable.” This is typical of the Gorampa camp.

Plus Kokol's defense of Naggie is similar to my exegesis of Priest's take on Buddhist logic, in that the relational truth value also serves as functional truth value, i.e., it is the asymmetrical basis of an absolutely relative truth.

I also appreciate his connection of pomo deconstruction to this thesis. And that there are no assholons. And this concluding sentence, supporting my notion of de/re. Though I'd add “and deconstruction” to the sentence after "Madhyamika."

“That Madhyamika is often characterized as being deconstructive in nature and process philosophy as being constructive ignores the fact that both philosophies simultaneously deconstruct symmetrical abstractions that have become unjustifiably reified and reconstruct a process-relational worldview of asymmetrical interdependence.”

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