Liberating Language in Linji and Wittgenstein

Asian Philosophy 13 (2-3):103-113 (2003)
Abstract
Our aim in this paper is to explicate some unexpected and striking similarities and equally important differences, which have not been discussed in the literature, between Wittgenstein's methodology and the approach of Chinese Chan or Japanese Zen Buddhism. We say ?unexpected? similarities because it is not a common practice, especially in the analytic tradition, to invest very much in comparative philosophy. The peculiarity of this study will be further accentuated in the view of those of the ?old school? who see Wittgenstein as a logical positivist, and Zen as a religious excuse for militarism or sadomasochism. If the second claim were true, the following investigation would not only be futile but also impossible. That the first claim, concerning the ?old school? perspective on Wittgenstein, is incorrect, we will demonstrate in the ensuing discussion. By now more experts have come to accept this claim and we hope that our comparative perspective will add even more momentum
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