My Observations are not central to the Theme but only peripheral ones. (02)
After series of logical analysis (one great recent scholar proved in
last two decades) that assumptions in Buddhism are a subset of what is
taught (earlier to Buddha) in Sankhya Philosophy of Hinduism. (03)
Yet perhaps Buddha focused on a new way of articulation of Reality /
Perception of Nature while not believing in any single creator - same
as Sankhya. (i.e. Not a new Logic!). (04)
Another fateful iconic statistics: Buddha was against Icons and
Statues and today Buddha's Statues are probably the largest of any
On Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 2:36 AM, John F. Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Let me emphasize one thing very strongly: there is a wide range
> of ways of thinking that are common to people around the world.
> People in the same country may differ from one another more than
> they differ from people half way around the world.
> When Gautama Buddha meditated in India, he wasn't reacting against
> western logic. He was reacting against the ways of thinking that
> he learned in *India*.
> When Lao Tse wrote about the Tao in China, he wasn't reacting against
> western ways of thinking. He was reacting against Chinese ways of
> thinking that he learned in *China*.
> Furthermore, Buddha in India and Lao Tse in China lived about the
> same time as Heraclitus in the Greek colonies in Anatolia. Many
> scholars have noted strong similarities in the teachings of all
> three of them. And Heraclitus had a strong influence on both
> Plato and Aristotle, and through them all of Europe.
> PDM> 1) Are you finally buying into the idea of 'chinese logic?'
>> (or japanese as in this case) (as in non FOL, or more generalise
>> as more western)
> Please note what I've been saying for years: the Zen and other
> ways of thinking are *extremely* important. But that doesn't mean
> that other ways of thinking are not important. (See the excerpt
> below about the Buddhist theory of knowledge, which I wrote in
> my 1984 book.)
> Just look at the publications on logic and mathematics in China
> and Japan. The scientists there are very competent in using FOL,
> where it is appropriate. And for many applications, it is indeed
> important. But for other purposes, other ways of thinking may be
> more important.
> PDM> 2) If we can admit that certain verbiage/propositions - such
>> as Haikus - may not reflect in FOL (or may not be expressed as FOL,
>> or other FOL relation as you may see) what other logic would be
>> suitable for them?
> The fact that Japanese mathematicians use FOL very well does not
> imply that they can't write haiku. The haiku express feelings that
> they can't express in FOL. What they are doing is expressing a way
> of feeling that is different from logic.
> The same person can use many different ways of thinking.
> The following excerpts are taken from Chapter 7, "Limits of
> Conceptualization" in _Conceptual Structures_ by J. F. Sowa,
> Addison-Wesley, 1984.
> Different conceptual systems may be internally consistent, but
> incompatible with one another. In Either/Or, Kierkegaard presented the
> world views of two men: the first man had an esthetic view of the world,
> and the second an ethical view. Each view contained a comprehensive set
> of mutually compatible concepts. In terms of them, each man could give a
> coherent interpretation of his experience. Yet communication between the
> two broke down because their concepts were incompatible. Even when they
> used the same words, their concepts were oriented in conflicting directions.
> Compatible concepts form self-contained systems, and knowing one leads
> to the discovery of others. Every concept is compatible with its
> opposite: good and evil, beauty and ugliness, justice and injustice. In
> the Book of the Tao, Lao Tzu said, “When everyone recognizes the good as
> good, there is beginning of evil. When everyone recognizes the beautiful
> as beautiful, there is the beginning of ugliness.” This seemingly
> paradoxical statement refers to the interdependence of all the concepts
> in a compatible set. When smooth, tender skin is classified as
> beautiful, then coarse, wrinkled skin becomes ugly. In such terms, an
> elephant may become ugly, even though an elephant, on its own terms, is
> a very beautiful animal.
> Conceptual relativity sets limitations on the generality of conceptual
> analysis. The concept types and schemata discovered by the analysis hold
> only for a single culture, language, or domain of discourse. Leibniz's
> dream of a universal lexicon of concepts that would be fixed for all
> time is doomed to failure. For a special application or range of
> applications, it is still possible to have restricted lexicons that are
> adequate to support knowledge-based systems. A universal expert system,
> however, would require a method for freely inventing new concepts for
> any possible domain. Such a system would require learning and discovery
> techniques that are far beyond present capabilities.
> Discrete concepts divide the world into discrete things. The
> arbitrariness of this division is a common theme of Oriental
> philosophers. Lao Tzu said, “The Nameless is the origin of heaven and
> earth, the Named is the mother of all things.” The world flows according
> to the unnamed Tao, but the differentiation of the world into discrete
> objects is a consequence of the discreteness of the conceptual
> mechanisms and the words that reflect them.
> By meditation on paradoxical sayings or koans, Zen Buddhism seeks to
> undermine a person's conceptual system and promote a direct experience
> of conceptual relativity. The process cuts through many years of
> cherished beliefs and automatic ways of thinking and acting. It requires
> a painful letting go of familiar habits. But the result is a blissful
> state of Enlightenment where the anxieties based on the old system of
> concepts melt into insignificance. The most detailed statement of the
> Buddhist theory of knowledge comes from the Lankavatara Sutra (Goddard
> * Appearance knowledge gives names to things. It “belongs to the word
> mongers who revel in discriminations, assertions, and negations.”
> * Relative knowledge does more than classifying. “It rises from the
> mind's ability to arrange, combine, and analyze these relations by
> its powers of discursive logic and imagination, by reason of which
> it is able to peer into the meanings and significance of things.”
> * Perfect knowledge “is the pathway and the entrance into the exalted
> state of self-realization of Noble Wisdom.” Perfect knowledge does
> not rule out the use of words and concepts, but it goes beyond them
> to a state of nonattachment to any particular conceptual system.
> Concepts are useful fictions that are not absolute. There is a Buddhist
> saying that words are like a finger pointing to the moon: one who
> focuses only on the words and the concepts they symbolize will miss the
> reality they express, just as one who looks only at the finger will not
> see the moon it points to. Nonattachment to any system does not mean
> ignorance of all systems; appearance knowledge and relative knowledge
> are important for everyday life. The enlightened one is free to use
> concepts, but is not bound to them as absolute. Yet the path to
> enlightenment requires a painful abandonment of the comfortable old ways
> of thinking before any assurance is offered that the new way is better.
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(Dr. Ravi Sharma)
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