Philosophy East and West, vol. 57, no. 4 (2007)


Al-Ghazālī and Schopenhauer on Knowledge and Suffering
Zain Imtiaz Ali, 409

The “major Islamic philosophers,” writes Deborah Black, “produced no works dedicated to aesthetics, although their writings do address issues that contemporary philosophers might study under that heading.” The emergent theme in this essay is that classical Islamic philosophy may be studied within a framework of aesthetics. To achieve this goal, the metaphysics of Abu Hamid al-Ghazālī (1058–1111) and the aesthetics of Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860) will be brought together.

Language and Ontology in Early Chinese Thought
Chris Fraser, 420

This essay critiques Chad Hansen’s “mass noun hypothesis,” arguing that though most Classical Chinese nouns do function as mass nouns, this fact does not support the claim that pre-Qin thinkers treat the extensions of common nouns as mereological wholes, nor does it explain why they adopt nominalist semantic theories. The essay shows that early texts explain the use of common nouns by appeal to similarity relations, not mereological relations. However, it further argues that some early texts do characterize the relation between individuals and collections as a mereological relation.

The Significance of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity in Nishida’s “Logic of Field”
Hashi Hisaki, 457

This essay presents aspects of the philosophy of nature of Nishida Kitarō (1870–1945) (Kyoto School) and its relation to the physics of his day. Which aspects of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity are treated in Nishida’s Logic of Field? Through exact explanations of the fundamental differences between physics and philosophy this essay aims to clarify the construction of logic in philosophy and physics while considering interdisciplinary aspects.

Pyrrhonism and the Mādhyamaka
Adrian Kuzminski, 482

The question of possible Indian influence on Pyrrhonist skepticism was raised long ago by Diogenes Laertius in his biography of Pyrrho. Diogenes tells us that Pyrrho adopted his “most noble philosophy” as a result of his contacts with Indian sages when he accompanied Alexander the Great on his expedition in the fourth century B.C.E. Most modern Western scholars have downplayed Diogenes’ claim as unsubstantiated, but the striking parallels to be found in subsequent ancient Pyrrhonist and Mādhyamaka texts suggest its continued plausibility. In both the Pyrrhonist texts of Sextus Empiricus and the Mādhyamaka texts of Nāgārjuna and Candrakīrti, we are repeatedly counseled above all to suspend our various non-evident beliefs, that is, our judgments about or attachments to evident things, if we wish to be liberated from the anxiety that such beliefs create and gain some kind of tranquillity, bliss, or enlightenment. A comparative analysis of these Pyrrhonist and Mādhyamaka texts finds that what differences exist are entirely compatible with, and equally in the service of, this common, and indeed virtually identical, therapeutic purpose. It is perhaps not too much to say that Pyrrhonism and the Mādhyamaka are nearly indistinguishable from one another, an intriguing conclusion to contemplate.

Four-Dimensional Time in Dzogchen and Heidegger
Zhihua Yao, 512

Concerning time, we have many puzzles, such as what eternity is, how it is related to the passage of time, whether the passage of time is irreversible, whether things past are no longer, whether the future is non-predictable, whether or not the present exists, and so on. This article is an attempt to discuss such experiences of the passage of time. First, a Buddhist practice in the Dzogchen tradition that deals with the experience of the passage of time will be introduced, then Longchenpa’s concept of four times (dus-bzhi) will be analyzed and its significance to the history of Buddhism discussed. Next, Heidegger’s concept of four-dimensional time and its elaboration by later philosophers will be discussed. It will conclude with the similarities and differences between the four-dimensional time theories as found in these two diverse traditions, and the possible reasons for their striking similarities.


Karma and the Problem of Evil: A Response to Kaufman
Monima Chadha and Nick Trakakis, 533

Karma, Rebirth, and the Problem of Evil: A Reply to Critics
Whitley Kaufman, 556

A Response to Shyam Ranganathan’s Review of The Virtue of Non-Violence: From Gautama to Gandhi
Nicholas F. Gier, 561

Reply to Nicholas Gier
Shyam Ranganathan, 564

Consciousness across Cultures: A Response to Bina Gupta’s CIT: Consciousness
Rajesh Kasturirangan, 567


A Critical Survey of Works on Zen since Yampolsky
Steven Heine, 577


Buddhism, Knowledge and Liberation: A Philosophical Study, by David Burton
Reviewed by Ethan Mills, 593

Mencius on Becoming Human, by James Behuniak Jr.
Reviewed by Franklin Perkins, 596

The Other Side of Zen: A Social History of Sōtō Zen Buddhism in Tokugawa Japan, by Duncan Ryūken Williams
Reviewed by Cristina Rocha, 599

Contemporary Japanese Thought, edited by Richard F. Calichman
Reviewed by Michael K. Bourdaghs, 601

Relativism and Beyond, edited by Yoav Ariel, Shlomo Biderman, and Ornan Rotem
Reviewed by Sor-hoon Tan, 603



INDEX, 612