Last modified 3-Dec-2003
SIPR Calcutta 2004 Abstract
Shedding some Localic and Linguistic Light on the Tetralemma Conundrums. F.E.J. Linton
E-mail: FLinton @ Wesleyan.edu
Numerous authors over the centuries have puzzled over what has been called “the Buddhist paradigm of catuskoti.” A classic example: the four statements, considered both mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive,
(i) the Tathagata exists after death;
(ii) the Tathagata does not exist after death;
(iii) the Tathagata both does and does not exist after death;
(iv) the Tathagata neither does nor does not exist after death.
We offer some linguistic gedanken-experiments illustrating everyday situations in which appropriate analogues to these four statement-forms are entirely plausible as mutually exclusive, or jointly exhaustive, alternatives; and we offer a framework, based on the logical paradigms of locale theory, illustrating how forms (iii) and (iv), in particular, need be neither contradictory, nor paradoxical, nor even mutually equivalent.
See the full text in browser-specific versions:
if using Netscape 7, please click here;
if using MS IE, please click here.