Journal of Indian Philosophy

, Volume 40, Issue 5, pp 533–552 | Cite as

The Unanswered Questions and the Limits of Knowledge

Article

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.

Keywords

Unanswered Questions Debate No-self 

Abbreviations

All references are to the relevant Pali Text Society editions, with their corre- sponding volumes

A.

Aṅguttara Nikāya

AA.

Aṅguttara Nikāya Aṭṭhakathā (Manorathapūraṇī)

BAU

Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad

D.

Dīgha Nikāya

DA.

Dīgha Nikāya Aṭṭhakathā (Sumaṅgalavilāsinī)

S.

Saṃyutta Nikāya

M.

Majjhima Nikāya

Ud.

Udāna

UdA.

Udāna Aṭṭhakathā (Paramatthadīpanī)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Loyola UniversityChicagoUSA

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