Wonhyo and logic

In a recent article, the writer has broached the topic of indentifying distinctions in the modes of commentarial discourse within the exegetical works of the the Korean scholiast Wonhyo (617-686), taking note of (1) a rational/logical form of discourse that attempts to elucidate the point of a passage — and especially to resolve any doctrinal problems contained therein — using clear rational argumentation, and (2) an intuitive, poetic, form of discourse that tends to emphasize the fact that the ultimate Buddhist truth is inapprehensible through discriminatory thought. In that paper, attention was paid primarily to the second mode, which tends to be seen itself in the opening and closing portions of his commentaries — or in works, or portions of works — that deal primarily with issues of faith. In that paper, examples were drawn primarily from his commentaries on the Awakening of Mahāyāna Faith and the Sutra of Immeasurable Life . This paper advances that discussion by paying attention to the rational/logical strain of his work, which is clearly of equal, and possibly even greater importance. Here we look at passages from two of his works that both make use of logic, yet which also subject logic itself to a critique in terms of testing the limitations of its applicability in resolving the most fundamental of religious truths.
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