Is Buddhism paradoxical?

Buddhist literature is full of statements that sound paradoxical. This has led to the widespread idea that Buddhism, like some other religions, wants to point us in the direction of a reality
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Buddhist literature is full of statements that sound paradoxical. In Mahāyāna sūtras, for instance, we repeatedly find claims of the form, “x is not x, therefore it is x.” This has led to the widespread idea that Buddhism, like some other religions, wants to point us in the direction of a reality transcending all intellectual understanding. But while this view of Buddhist thought may be common, it is rejected by most Buddhist thinkers. For it puts Buddhist teachings perilously close to Advaita Vedānta, the Indian school that claims that ultimately all is One. It also calls into question the idea that the Buddha taught the truth when he said that the cause of suffering is ignorance about impermanence and non-self. So for the Madhyamaka school, for instance, the point of the paradoxical-sounding statements is just to get us to stop engaging in metaphysical theorizing. I have long favored this anti-metaphysical (or “semantic”) interpretation of Madhyamaka. This is what I had in mind when. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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