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Is a contradiction the rejection of logic
February 18th, 2013
illustration

illustration (attribution, if any possible, is at the end of the article)

Is a contradiction the rejection of logic,
or the very conclusion of logic properly used?

In 2007, C. W. Huntington, Jr. published "The nature of the Mādhyamaka trick" (http://www.smith.edu/buddhism/docs/huntington-madhyamika-trick.pdf) in which he reviews recent works presenting Nāgārjuna's contribution through the lens of modern symbolic logic.
He notably argues that modern assumptions prejudice our understanding of Nāgārjuna’s insistence that he has no proposition. While doing so, Huntington seems to present mādhyamikas as rejecting reasoning, distrusting logic and not offering much arguments.

In 2008, Jay L. Garfield replied with "Turning a Madhyamaka Trick: Reply to Huntington" (http://www.smith.edu/buddhism/docs/garfield-turning-a-madhyamaka-trick.pdf). Garfield demonstrates that Nāgārjuna and Candrakīrti do deploy arguments.

In some sense, the debate is about the prāsaṅgika tradition and its reliance on the reductio ad absurdum: is a contradiction the rejection of logic, or the very conclusion of logic properly used?

A three-day symposium "Madhyamaka and Methodology" at Smith College extended the debate, with videos available online (http://www.smith.edu/buddhism/event-mmsymp.php).
Happy watching!


#Buddhism   #logic   #buddhistcircle  
(photo: © Henrik Nilsson, 2010. http://500px.com/photo/1287037)