Huayan Buddhism and Dewey: Emptiness, Compassion, and the Philosophical Fallacy

Journal of Chinese Philosophy 39 (2):260-271 (2012)
Abstract
Huayan Buddhist philosophers and John Dewey share a perspective on emptiness or dependent origination. This article compares Dewey's local, contextual, and relational metaphysics with Huayan thinkers’ use of the metaphor of Indra's jewel net to extend their relational metaphysics to an infinite extent. Huayan thinkers base their ethics of compassion on the recognition of the infinite relatedness of all things. Dewey prefers constructing social institutions that foster experiences that are reliably aesthetically unified. This dispute is significant because pragmatism and Buddhism both provide promising ethical positions based on the understanding of persons as temporally limited and relational
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