Comparative Philosophy 11 (2):63-89 (2020)

Nicholaos Jones
University of Alabama, Huntsville
Names name, but there are no individuals who are named by names. This is the key to an elegant and ideologically parsimonious strategy for analyzing the Buddhist catuṣkoṭi. The strategy is ideologically parsimonious, because it appeals to no analytic resources beyond those of standard predicate logic. The strategy is elegant, because it is, in effect, an application of Bertrand Russell's theory of definite descriptions to Buddhist contexts. The strategy imposes some minor adjustments upon Russell's theory. Attention to familiar catuṣkoṭi from Vacchagotta and Nagarjuna as well as more obscure catuṣkoṭi from Khema, Zhi Yi, and Fa Zang motivates the adjustments. The result is a principled structural distinction between affirmative and negative catuṣkoṭi, as well as analyses for each that compare favorably to more recent efforts from Tillemans, Westerhoff, and Priest.
Keywords antirealism  catuskoti  definite description  empty name  Fazang  Nagarjuna  reference failure  Russell  tetralemma
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References found in this work BETA

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Citations of this work BETA

An Account of Generous Action and Esteem in Pāli Buddhism.Nicholaos Jones - 2020 - International Journal of Buddhist Thought and Culture 30 (2):195-225.

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