, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 125-133
Date: 24 Jan 2008

Contradiction in Buddhist Argumentation

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Certain Buddhist texts contain statements that are prima facie contradictions. The scholarly consensus has been that such statements are meant to serve a rhetorical function that depends on the apparent contradictions being resolvable. But recently it has been claimed that such statements are meant to be taken literally: their authors assert as true statements that are of the form ‘p and not p’. This claim has ramifications for our understanding of the role played by the principle of non-contradiction in Buddhist argumentation. I argue that these make the claim less plausible.