Friday, June 24, 2011

Is Enlightenment Possible?: Dharmakirti and Rgyal Tshab Rje on Knowledge, Rebirth, No-Self and Liberation By Roger R. Jackson

Prof. Jackson's commentary, which comprises nearly half the content, is an extremely well defined analysis on how to assess the truth claims made by Buddhism ( and any other religion ) from a Western philosophical framework. Prof. Jackson chooses to approach the topic using the classical western Correspondence theory of truth and this approach works to a large extent. Professor Jackson chose Correspondence theory as opposed to Pragmatism or Coherence theory because, he considered it to be less vulnerable to ( the western notion of ) relativism. This presents some ironic contradictions in areas where he attempts to "box" in the Mahayana notions of Relative and Absolute truth from a correspondence viewpoint, a viewpoint the Mahayana school would certainly consider a Relative truth. Nevertheless, it makes for a good debate and seems very much in the spirit of Buddhist scholasticism. The book stops short of actually attempting to answer the question "Is enlightenment Possible" as it should, since the answer lies somewhere between the debate of Buddhist truth claims and the practice of Buddhism. Those practitioners who are leery of the benefits of recursive debates will still find the translation of Dharmakirti's work quit enjoyable.

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1 comment:

  1. Could you post a valid link please, i really need this book. :)