Logic - or not

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laic
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Logic - or not

Post by laic »

This is actually a repeat of a post made on another forum which got a bit involved. I was dipping into a book on Dogen (the Soto zen master) and it drifted into various "logics". I'm not really sure if this belongs in this sub-section, perhaps the mods can move it if appropriate.

I began my post by saying that as I understood it Dogen's thought relates to certain philosophical preferences. First of "Internal Relations" rather than "External Relations", i.e. if A and B are related, in external relations they both exist independently and any relationship between them becomes a third factor, C. By contrast, in internal relations, the necessary third factor is that which overlaps, or interlinks, in fact the shared part of A and B.

This obviously has implications for the relationship between "knower" and "known", subject and object. In external relations, such a relationship becomes "knowledge", and then theories arise as to what would make the "knowledge" true. Within internal relations, knowledge becomes that which overlaps, is interdependent.........therefore Dogen's "we are that which we understand". There would be no obstruction between mindfulness and reality.

As has been said......."Such a model stresses engagement and praxis in preference to observation and analysis." The ideal is thus not the detached observer, but the one who is engaged, always somatic and not just intellective.

"Further, if one assumes human being in its entirety to be part of the world, then knowledge of the world, in the final analysis, means that part of the world knows itself."

The two modes of relations also implies that the passing on of knowledge, rather than something objective being transmitted systematically to another via words, involves more the relationship between human beings - knowledge as "love", "compassion", "empathy" and as Dogen would say, "selflessness." Another corollary, of just how "knowledge" comes about - by reading and study or within the heart of life itself?

For me, as with all things, it is not a case of either/or. The reality is that both ways of knowing can be part of just what it is to be human. Yet this perhaps brings with it the so called "argument by relegation" (and of which is to be relegated!) Opposite positions are treated not by refuting them, but by accepting them as true, but only true as a part of the full picture. One way of knowing is therefore not cast aside - the main idea is perhaps to know/live just which form of knowledge encompasses/infolds the other.

The consequence of all this is that a "little child can lead them". Ultimately life can be very simple when lived to the very fullest.

(My thanks to "Japanese Philosophy:A Sourcebook", the introduction to which is clearer to me after reading of Dogen)

Anyway, as usual in one sense I am simply phishing, throwing out ideas, looking for thoughts and insights of others who may be interested. I really do find this sort of thing therapeutic at the moment.

Thank you.
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Logic - or not

Post by Kim O'Hara »

I like it - very much - but I don't quite know how one can say much more about it without continually veering into an "external relations" way of talking and (therefore) understanding the world.
And the whole of western science and materialism assumes "external relations". We get far too much of it!

You might like to read Thich Nhat Hanh for another approach to "Internal Relations".

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Re: Logic - or not

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Kim O'Hara wrote: Fri Sep 30, 2022 11:45 am I like it - very much - but I don't quite know how one can say much more about it without continually veering into an "external relations" way of talking and (therefore) understanding the world.
And the whole of western science and materialism assumes "external relations". We get far too much of it!

You might like to read Thich Nhat Hanh for another approach to "Internal Relations".

:namaste:
Kim
Hi, I agree, most - if not all - thinking and "conceiving" seems to cement the "external relations" mode. As far as "science" goes, there are a lot of so called "popular science" books that seem to point towards an "inter-being" stance (which I think can be associated with Thich Nhat Hanh, as you imply) in order to make some sort of sense of all the quantum this and quantum that, chaos theory, relativity and all the rest of it. There seems to be a search for a new paradigm to replace the "Newtonian" worldview in which we tend to live, even think.

I definitely think that Dharma practice will inevitably lead away from "external relations" towards a more natural "internal relations" experience. Reality itself favours it!

Thanks for your interest.
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Matt J
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Re: Logic - or not

Post by Matt J »

I would call into question whether Dogen intended to create or imply any underlying philosophical system or set of principles. Typically within Madhyamaka influenced Mahayana, and especially in Zen, concepts are typically seen as limited and incomplete.

As this is an academic forum, there is a paper recently written by Chiarra Robbiano on this topic. According to this paper, Dogen acknowledges that not only conceptual knowledge is limited, but all forms of knowing are necessarily partial and incomplete, i.e. there is no ultimate view from nowhere that we can adopt. Realizing this over and again is the continuous practice of de-centering not unlike that of Pyrrhonian Skepticism. I think she oversimplifies Dogen a bit, but the overall message of the paper is interesting.

https://dspace.library.uu.nl/bitstream/ ... sequence=1
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Re: Logic - or not

Post by Kim O'Hara »

Matt J wrote: Fri Sep 30, 2022 11:33 pm I would call into question whether Dogen intended to create or imply any underlying philosophical system or set of principles. Typically within Madhyamaka influenced Mahayana, and especially in Zen, concepts are typically seen as limited and incomplete.

As this is an academic forum, there is a paper recently written by Chiarra Robbiano on this topic. According to this paper, Dogen acknowledges that not only conceptual knowledge is limited, but all forms of knowing are necessarily partial and incomplete, i.e. there is no ultimate view from nowhere that we can adopt. Realizing this over and again is the continuous practice of de-centering not unlike that of Pyrrhonian Skepticism. I think she oversimplifies Dogen a bit, but the overall message of the paper is interesting.

https://dspace.library.uu.nl/bitstream/ ... sequence=1
:thumbsup:
I only read the first few pages and skimmed the rest :emb: but I think I would go beyond calling it "interesting" to calling it "useful."

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Re: Logic - or not

Post by laic »

Matt J wrote: Fri Sep 30, 2022 11:33 pm I would call into question whether Dogen intended to create or imply any underlying philosophical system or set of principles. Typically within Madhyamaka influenced Mahayana, and especially in Zen, concepts are typically seen as limited and incomplete.
Yes, agreed, maybe I was unclear. Dogen certainly did not advocate any conceptual system (although as some have pointed out, any "ethics" implies a metaphysics) Re-reading Murti at the moment and he speaks of the two strands of Indian philosophy, expressed in various ways - Being v becoming, atma v anatma, the substance view v the non-substance view. While Buddhism would tend towards the second term of each (and towards "internal" v "external" relations), the Dharma is certainly the "middle way" beyond all "conceiving". To be lived, not thought as such.

Thank you for your reference. I will try to look it up at some point.
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Re: Logic - or not

Post by Agent Smith »

laic wrote: Fri Sep 30, 2022 10:17 am This is actually a repeat of a post made on another forum which got a bit involved. I was dipping into a book on Dogen (the Soto zen master) and it drifted into various "logics". I'm not really sure if this belongs in this sub-section, perhaps the mods can move it if appropriate.

I began my post by saying that as I understood it Dogen's thought relates to certain philosophical preferences. First of "Internal Relations" rather than "External Relations", i.e. if A and B are related, in external relations they both exist independently and any relationship between them becomes a third factor, C. By contrast, in internal relations, the necessary third factor is that which overlaps, or interlinks, in fact the shared part of A and B.

This obviously has implications for the relationship between "knower" and "known", subject and object. In external relations, such a relationship becomes "knowledge", and then theories arise as to what would make the "knowledge" true. Within internal relations, knowledge becomes that which overlaps, is interdependent.........therefore Dogen's "we are that which we understand". There would be no obstruction between mindfulness and reality.

As has been said......."Such a model stresses engagement and praxis in preference to observation and analysis." The ideal is thus not the detached observer, but the one who is engaged, always somatic and not just intellective.

"Further, if one assumes human being in its entirety to be part of the world, then knowledge of the world, in the final analysis, means that part of the world knows itself."

The two modes of relations also implies that the passing on of knowledge, rather than something objective being transmitted systematically to another via words, involves more the relationship between human beings - knowledge as "love", "compassion", "empathy" and as Dogen would say, "selflessness." Another corollary, of just how "knowledge" comes about - by reading and study or within the heart of life itself?

For me, as with all things, it is not a case of either/or. The reality is that both ways of knowing can be part of just what it is to be human. Yet this perhaps brings with it the so called "argument by relegation" (and of which is to be relegated!) Opposite positions are treated not by refuting them, but by accepting them as true, but only true as a part of the full picture. One way of knowing is therefore not cast aside - the main idea is perhaps to know/live just which form of knowledge encompasses/infolds the other.

The consequence of all this is that a "little child can lead them". Ultimately life can be very simple when lived to the very fullest.

(My thanks to "Japanese Philosophy:A Sourcebook", the introduction to which is clearer to me after reading of Dogen)

Anyway, as usual in one sense I am simply phishing, throwing out ideas, looking for thoughts and insights of others who may be interested. I really do find this sort of thing therapeutic at the moment.

Thank you.
You've, ex mea sententia, made important references to critical points in Buddhism and beyond. The title of your post seemed a bit misleading at first but upon further examination is on target. What, would you say, is the nub of (Buddhist) logic? As you already know, the answer to that question is key (at least to me).
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