Truth, Deception, and Skillful Means in the Lotus Sūtra

Asian Philosophy 21 (1):35-52 (2011)
Abstract
This article seeks to broaden contemporary scholarship on the Lotus S?tra by arguing that it is a philosophically critical, self-reflective text struggling with problems of truth in Buddhist discourse. While all Lotus S?tra scholars agree that the doctrine of skillful means is a central teaching in the text, there is a common tendency to frame skillful means as a passive vehicle (or ?means?) for expressing truth rather than an active philosophical critique of truth. This article argues that the Lotus S?tra uses skillful means as a distinct form of criticism within a larger debate over the nature and efficacy of Buddhist practice, and that it raises important issues about truth that are shared by other important Buddhist thinkers and texts such as N?g?rjuna, Lin-chi and the Vimalak?rtinirde?a. It analyzes key passages and parables without reducing the ethical teachings of the Lotus S?tra to simplistic versions of utilitarianism, paternalism, or relativism, and without dissolving the critical elements that make the Lotus S?tra a genuinely philosophically interesting text
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09552367.2011.537442
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 29,841
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Beyond Morality.Richard Garner - 1994 - Temple University Press.
Nagarjuna: The Philosophy of the Middle Way.David J. Kalupahana - 1988 - Religious Studies 24 (4):529-533.
Mahāyāna Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations.Paul Williams - 1990 - Religious Studies 26 (3):429-431.
The Central Philosophy of Buddhism.T. R. V. Murti - 1955 - London: George Allen and Unwin.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Literal Means and Hidden Meanings: A New Analysis of Skillful Means.Asaf Federman - 2009 - Philosophy East and West 59 (2):pp. 125-141.
Nāgārjuna and the Doctrine of "Skillful Means".John Schroeder - 2000 - Philosophy East and West 50 (4):559-583.
The Lotus Sutra and Whitehead's Last Writings.Joseph Grange - 2001 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 28 (4):385–398.
Divinity in Process Thought and the Lotus Sutra.Gene Reeves - 2001 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 28 (4):357–369.
Added to PP index
2011-02-19

Total downloads
43 ( #131,386 of 2,210,416 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #127,233 of 2,210,416 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature