, Volume 40, Issue 5, pp 533-552
Date: 11 Aug 2012

The Unanswered Questions and the Limits of Knowledge

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Abstract

In this article I look at the Buddha's refusal to answer certain questions in light of the dynamics of ancient Indian debate. Doing so foregrounds a dimension of the Buddha's interaction with his interlocutors that is central for understanding the problem of what are known as the Undetermined or Unanswered (avyākata) Questions: namely, the Buddha's knowledge and authority vis-à-vis rival teachers.