Saturday, July 6, 2013
Is it possible to gain an infallible perception of the reality in front of us? How can logical reasoning transform the quality of our convictions? In this course we will study a foundational Indian text on Buddhist logic, The Commentary on Valid Perception (Pramanavarttika), by Master Dharmakirti (630 AD), along with a Tibetan commentary by Purbuchok Jampa Tsultrim Gyatso (1825- 1901): The Key for Starting the Logic Machine (Rik-lam Trul-gyi De-mik). We will examine the structure of Buddhist logic and the ancient forms of debate. We will cover the correct motivation for debate; debating tactics; the parts of a correct logical argument; how logic strengthens faith; how studying logic leads to perceiving emptiness; contradictions and relationships -- such as relationships of identity, or of cause and effect; proving the absence of something; material causes and contributing factors; valid perception; changing and unchanging things; an outline of all existing things; the concept of time according to each of the four schools of thought; and the reason why suffering has an end.