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Contradictions in Dōgen

From: Philosophy East and West
Volume 63, Number 3, July 2013
pp. 322-334 | 10.1353/pew.2013.0032



In "The Way of the Dialetheist: Contradictions in Buddhism," Yasuo Deguchi, Jay L. Garfield, and Graham Priest argue that some (though not all) of the contradictions that appear in Buddhist texts should be accepted. An examination of their argument depends on what sort(s) of negation is (are) used in the texts. In order to see apparently contradictory statements as affirmations of true contradictions, we must assume that 'not' (or its variance) is used as a contradiction-forming operator. In this article, the conception of negation(s) that is (are) salient in the writings of Dōgen is examined, and it is argued that he would not agree that his sentences are to be considered, and accepted, as contradictory.