The logic of the diamond sutra: A is not a, therefore it is a

Asian Philosophy 10 (3):213 – 244 (2000)
Abstract
This paper attempts to make intelligible the logic contained in the Diamond Sutra. This 'logic' is called the 'logic of not'. It is stated in a propositional form: 'A is not A, therefore it is A'. Since this formulation is contradictory or paradoxical when it is read in light of Aristotelean logic, one might dismiss it as nonsensical. In order to show that it is neither nonsensical nor meaningless, the paper will articulate the philosophical reasons why the Sutra makes its position in this contradictory form. The thesis to be presented is that as long as one understands the 'logic of not' from a dualistic, either-or egological standpoint, it remains contradictory, but in order to properly understand it, one must effect a perspectival shift from the dualistic, egological stance to a non-dualistic, non-egological stance. This thesis is advanced with a broader concern in mind: to reexamine how the self understands itself, how it understands others, and how it understands its intra-ecological relationship with nature.
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