By Kenneth K. Inada, Nolan P. Jacobson
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Extra info for Buddhism and American thinkers
It is at once a refreshing and engaging essay which exhibits how a great mind very early on encountered different religious and philosophical views and how quickly he formed his own position on the reality of things. It is the realization that any perspective based on self-interest and substance is fundamentally limiting and doomed. Hartshorne finds sufficient confirmation and corroboration of his views in the later Harvard writings of Whitehead. What is more dramatic and revealing is his admission of an affinity to a form of Buddhist view, especially the Mahayana * type, even before he had seriously read anything substantial on Buddhism.
It, too, generates paradox. For now, we have three entities, A, B, and the relation. And we are saying either that these three entities have a further relation such that the first relation, call it R, relates A to B (implying a vicious regress repeating the same problem), or that relations ae super-entities able to contain their terms. Neither way can one make sense out of the theory. The solution is to suppose that the primary relations are those of one-way dependence-independence. A may depend on B but not B on A.
Suppose (as I believe) that they were both right so far, Page 8 what follows? They replied, what follows is that the truth about relations transcends discursive thought and can only be possessed by those whose meditation or intuition carries them beyond the rationally statable. I say that this, as it stands, is a non sequitur for relations may be internal in some cases and external in others, internal to some terms but also external to some. Neither Nagarjuna * nor Bradley gave any dear objections to such a middle ground position; indeed, neither of them formulated it clearly.
Buddhism and American thinkers by Kenneth K. Inada, Nolan P. Jacobson