Philosophy East and West, vol. 60, no. 3 (2010)


Diṅnāga and Mental Models: A Reconstruction
Amita Chatterjee and Smita Sirker, 315

In the fifth century c.e., Diṅnāga introduced a distinction between inference-for-oneself (svarthānumāna) and inference-for-others (parārthānumāna), which was adopted by all later pramāṇa theorists. A reevaluation of this well-known distinction has led us to some philosophically significant theses, which we propose to discuss here. Many scholars have already pointed out that (a) the aim of the Buddhists in developing a theory of inference was different from that of a formal logician; (b) svarthānumāna falls in the domain of psychology of reasoning, while parārthānumāna falls in the domain of logic proper; and (c) parārthānumāna should be considered a model-theoretic as opposed to a proof-theoretic enterprise. In consonance with these views, it is aimed to show that (1) Diṅnāga’s account of good inferential process leading to sound inference as laid down in the Hetucakaraḍamaru is very similar to the Mental Model Theory proposed by P. N. Johnson-Laird and others, and (2) although Jonardon Ganeri’s reinterpretation of the early Nyāya inference as a type of case-based reasoning may be extended to the Buddhist parārthānumna, the most plausible reinterpretation of svārthānumāna can be given in terms of mental models.

Taking Conventional Truth Seriously: Authority Regarding Deceptive Reality
Jay L Garfield, 341

Mādhyamika philosophers in India and Tibet distinguish between two truths: the conventional and the ultimate. It is difficult, however, to say in what sense conventional truth is indeed a truth, as opposed to falsehood. Indeed, many passages in prominent texts suggest that it is entirely false. It is explained here in the sense in which, for Candrakrti and Tsong khapa, conventional truth is truth.

Mereological Heuristics for Huayan Buddhism
Nicholaos John Jones, 355

This is an attempt to explain, in a way familiar to contemporary ways of thinking about mereology, why someone might accept some prima facie puzzling remarks by Fazang, such as his claims that the eye of a lion is its ear and that a rafter of a building is identical to the building itself. These claims are corollaries of the Huayan Buddhist thesis that everything is part of everything else, and it is intended here to show that there is a rational basis for this thesis that involves a nonstandard notion of parthood and, importantly, that does not violate the principle of noncontradiction.

Engagement, Withdrawal, and Social Reform: Confucian and Contemporary Perspectives
Marion Hourdequin, 369

Concern with social and moral reform plays an important thematic role in the Analects, and the text discusses a number of possible responses to a morally failing society. This essay offers an account of engagement, withdrawal, and social reform in the Analects, then places the issue of social reform in a contemporary context through a comparative and critical discussion of the Analects and the book Habits of the Heart, by Robert Bellah et al. It is argued that Confucius rejects the option of complete withdrawal from society, even where such withdrawal aims to preserve personal moral integrity. However, Confucius also cautions against deep involvement with corrupt regimes and suggests that reformers must withdraw from particular institutions when moral engagement is impossible within them. The recommendations found in Habits of the Heart strikingly parallel many of those in the Analects, particularly in emphasizing individual engagement and reinvigoration of tradition as sources of social renewal. Although traditions require critical examination in contemporary contexts, the idea—found in both texts—that engagement in social reform can benefit the reformer as well as society more broadly remains important and relevant today.

Anaphors or Cataphors? A Discussion of the Two Qi 其 Graphs in the First Chapter of the Daodejing
Yoav Ariel and Gil Raz, 391

Since the third century B.C.C., interpreters of the Daodejing have taken the two qi 其 graphs (conventionally translated as “its”) in the first chapter as anaphoric, that is, as denoting an entity previously mentioned in the discourse/text. Almost unanimously, commentators have assumed that this anaphor refers to Dao 道, the most salient discourse entity to that point. Referential expressions (such as this, it, its, 之, 此, and 其), however, do not function solely as anaphors. They can also function as cataphors, in which case the entity they denote follows rather than precedes the referential expression. Cataphoric expressions are often used to highlight the entity they refer to. We suggest that the two instances of qi in the first chapter of the Daodejing were meant also to be cataphoric, and that they refer to the “gateway of all marvels” (眾眇之門). We further suggest that this “gateway” is a metaphor not only for the Dao but also for inviting the reader to enter the book and to penetrate the mystery of the Dao by reading it. In sum, we argue that the author/redactor of the first chapter of the Daodejing composed it as an introduction to the entire text, where he points out the problems inherent in writing and reading a text such as the Daodejing—which he perceived to be an image of the Dao itself. The text is the message.


Ludwig Wittgenstein: Ethics and Religion, edited by Kali Charan Pandey
Reviewed by Shabbir Ahsen, 422

Pyrrhonism: How the Ancient Greeks Reinvented Buddhism, by Adrian Kuzminski
Reviewed by M. Jason Reddoch, 424

John Dewey, Confucius, and Global Philosophy, by Joseph Grange
Reviewed by Ian M. Sullivan, 427

Nietzsche and Islam, by Roy Jackson
Reviewed by Peter S. Groff, 430

Vital Nourishment: Departing from Happiness, by François Jullien
Reviewed by Hans-Georg Moeller, 437