It seems uncontroversial that Buddhism is therapeutic in intent. The word ‘therapy’ is often used, however, to denote methods of treating medically defined mental illnesses, while in the Buddhist context it refers to the treatment of deep-seated dissatisfaction and confusion that, it is claimed, afflict us all. The Buddha is likened to a doctor who offers a medicine to cure the spiritual ills of the suffering world. In the Pāli scriptures, one of the epithets of the Buddha is ‘the Great (...) Physician’ and the therapeutic regimen or healing treatment is his teaching, the Dhamma. This metaphor is continued in later literature, most famously in the Saddharmapuṇḍarīka Sūtra, where the Buddha is said to be like a benevolent doctor who attempts to administer appropriate medicine to his sons. In the Mahāyāna pantheon, one of the most popular of the celestial Buddhas is Bhaiṣajyaguru, the master of healing, who is believed to offer cures for both the spiritual and more mundane ailments of sentient beings. The four truths, possibly the most pervasive of all Buddhist teachings, are expressed in the form of a medical diagnosis. The first truth, that there is suffering, is the diagnosis of the disease. The second truth, that suffering arises from a cause, seeks to identify the root source of the disease. The third truth, that suffering can be ended, is a prognosis that the disease is curable. The fourth truth describes the path to end suffering, and is the prescription of treatment. (shrink)
A philosophical analysis is offered of the relationship between knowledge and liberation in Buddhism. Buddhists often consider the knowledge of impermanence as a key to liberation from craving, attachment, and hence suffering. However, it can be objected that one may know that things are impermanent and yet still be subject to craving and attachment. In the face of this objection, critical consideration is given to five ways in which one might preserve the claim that a knowledge of things as they (...) actually are results in liberation from craving and attachment. Many Buddhists might in fact reject the thesis that knowledge alone, no matter how it is characterized, is a sufficient condition for liberation. (shrink)
Schmitt allots a chapter to each of the main types of theories about truth: pragmatism, coherentism, deflationism, and the correspondence theory. He discusses various arguments for these positions and concludes that only the arguments supporting the correspondence theory are successful. Schmitt's positive case for correspondence makes up the least original part of the book. He explicitly credits Field and remarks that he is mainly concerned with making Field's difficult account more accessible —a task that he discharges honorably..) Schmitt also offers (...) detailed discussions of about fifteen negative arguments aimed against pragmatism, coherentism, and deflationism. He finds most of them effective, with the result that the correspondence theory emerges as the only tenable account of truth. He discusses some objections but seems somewhat less eager to raise problems for his own view than for its competitors. (shrink)
You recognize when you know something for certain, right? You "know" the sky is blue, or that the traffic light had turned green, or where you were on the morning of September 11, 2001--you know these things, well, because you just do. In On Being Certain , neurologist Robert Burton challenges the notions of how we think about what we know. He shows that the feeling of certainty we have when we "know" something comes from sources beyond our control (...) and knowledge. In fact, certainty is a mental sensation, rather than evidence of fact. Because this "feeling of knowing" seems like confirmation of knowledge, we tend to think of it as a product of reason. But an increasing body of evidence suggests that feelings such as certainty stem from primitive areas of the brain, and are independent of active, conscious reflection and reasoning. The feeling of knowing happens to us; we cannot make it happen. Bringing together cutting edge neuroscience, experimental data, and fascinating anecdotes, Robert Burton explores the inconsistent and sometimes paradoxical relationship between our thoughts and what we actually know. Provocative and groundbreaking, On Being Certain , will challenge what you know (or think you know) about the mind, knowledge, and reason. ROBERT BURTON, M.D. graduated from Yale University and University of California at San Francisco medical school, where he also completed his neurology residency. At age 33, he was appointed chief of the Division of Neurology at Mt. Zion-UCSF Hospital, where he subsequently became Associate Chief of the Department of Neurosciences. His non-neurology writing career includes three critically acclaimed novels. He lives in Sausalito, California. Visit his website at http://www.rburton.com/ “What do we do when we recognize that a false certainty feels the same as certainty about the sky being blue? A lesser guide might get bogged down in nail-biting doubts about the limits of knowledge. Yet Burton not only makes clear the fascinating beauty of this tangled terrain, he also brings us out the other side with a clearer sense of how to navigate. It's a lovely piece of work; I'm all but certain you'll like it. “ --David Dobbs, author of Reef Madness; Charles Darwin, Alexander Agassiz, and the Meaning of Coral “Burton has a great talent for combining wit and insight in a way both palatable and profound.” --Johanna Shapiro PhD, professor of Family Medicine at UC Irvine School of Medicine “A new way of looking at knowledge that merits close reading by scientists and general readers alike.” -- Kirkus “This could be one of the most important books of the year. With so much riding on ‘certainty,’ and so little known about how people actually reach a state of certainty about anything, some plain speaking from a knowledgeable neuroscientist is called for. If Gladwell's Blink was fascinating but largely anecdotal, Burton's book drills down to the real science behind snap judgments and other decision-making.” -- Howard Rheingold, futurist and author of Smart Mobs “A fascinating read. Burton’s engaging prose takes us into the deepest corners of our subconscious, making us question our most solid contentions. Nobody who reads this book will walk away from it and say ‘I know this for sure’ ever again.” --Sylvia Pagán Westphal, science reporter, The Wall Street Journal “Burton provides a compelling and though-provoking case that we should be more skeptical about our beliefs. Along the way, he also provides a novel perspective on many lines of research that should be of interest to readers who are looking for a broad introduction to the cognitive sciences.” -- Seed Magazine. (shrink)
The so-called “disquotational theory of truth” has not previously been developed much beyond the thesis that saying, for example, that ‘Snow is white’ is true amounts only to saying that snow is white. Marian David has set out to see what further sense can be made of the disquotational theory, and to compare its merits with those of correspondence theories of truth. His prognosis is that an intelligible disquotational theory of truth can be developed but will suffer from drastic (...) shortcomings that make it all but unusable. (shrink)
Emptiness means that all entities are empty of, or lack, inherent existence - entities have a merely conceptual, constructed existence. Though Nagarjuna advocates the Middle Way, his philosophy of emptiness nevertheless entails nihilism, and his critiques of the Nyaya theory of knowledge are shown to be unconvincing.
The Reputation of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., one of the chief architects of twentieth century American law, has gone through a number of phases, changing from being altogether praiseworthy in the last years of his life and the first years after his death in 1935 to that of more sober evaluations. Writing at mid-century Henry Steele Commager offered the judgment that Holmes had had about him “much of the Olympian [and] something of the Mephistophelean.” The most useful account of (...) how the winds of change swept along Holmes' reputation is an article by G. Edward White, “The Rise and Fall of Justice Holmes,” which appeared in the University of Chicago Law Review in 1971. White examined the myth of Justice Holmes as it obtained from 1932 to 1940 and then proceeded to describe the demythologizing of Holmes from 1941 through 1949. (shrink)
Elias G. Carayannis and David F. J. Campbell, Mode 3 Knowledge Production in Quadruple Helix Innovation Systems: 21st-Century Democracy, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship for Development Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 139-142 DOI 10.1007/s11024-012-9194-6 Authors Barbara Prainsack, Department of Sociology and Communications, Brunel University, Kingston Lane, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH, UK Journal Minerva Online ISSN 1573-1871 Print ISSN 0026-4695 Journal Volume Volume 50 Journal Issue Volume 50, Number 1.