Logical Criticism of Buddhist Doctrines

A Thematic Compilation by Avi Sion

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Foreword and contents




This volume constitutes a critical review, mainly on logical grounds, of some of the main Buddhist doctrines, including impermanence, interdependence, emptiness, the denial of self, and the ‘five skandhas’ claim.

The essays here collected were written by Avi Sion, sp…

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13. Epistemological status


1.    The status of sense perceptions

I would like here to explore some more aspects of the controversy between Materialism and Mentalism[1]. Note that both views are here taken to acknowledge mental phenomena: the mentalist (or mind-only) view accepts mental phenomena to the exclusion…

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14. Mind and soul


1.    Behold the mind

Judging by a collection of essays attributed to Bodhidharma[1], the latter’s teaching of Zen meditation was quite introverted. He keeps stressing the futility of physical acts and rituals, and stresses the necessity of “beholding the mind”, to achieve enlighte…

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17. The five skandhas doctrine (cont’d)


1.    The metaphysical aspects

The Encyclopaedia Britannica (EB) defines the skandhas as “the five elements that sum up the whole of an individual’s mental and physical existence.” It lists them as “(1) matter, or body, the manifest form of the four elements—earth, air, fire, and water…

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Main References


A Treasury of Jewish Quotations.  Joseph L. Baron, ed.  Lanham, MD: Jason Aronson Inc., 1996.

Batchelor, Stephen.  Ed.  The Jewel in the Lotus: A Guide to the Buddhist Traditions of Tibet.  London: Wisdom, 1987.

Bhagavad-Gita, The Song of God.  Markham, Ont., Canada: Mentor, 1972.

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